As a pediatric chiropractor in Charlotte, NC, Dr. Bob is frequently asked how chiropractic care helps children that suffer from ear infections. Chiropractic adjustments are commonly associated with neck pain, back pain and headaches and because ear infections do not appear to be a musculoskeletal problem, many do not realize the success rate that most chiropractors have in treating ear infections.
There are 2 ways that chiropractic care is associated with ear infection relief. Thought of as a natural remedy for ear infections, chiropractic care allows the body to function optimally.
1—There are several muscles that control the opening and closing of the inner ear’s drainage tube. (eustachian tube). Current research shows that if the C1 vertebra misaligns (subluxation), it stretches these muscles and interferes with the inner ear’s function, which is to drain any accumulated secretions, infection or debris from the middle ear space. The result is a backup of fluid that creates an opportunity for bacteria to grow and spread within that area. Chiropractic manipulative therapy, referred to as a chiropractic adjustment, to the C1 vertebra lessens the strain on the muscles allowing the inner ear to drain properly. Research suggests that young children are more prone to this problem because of the position of their eustachian tube. Upon birth, the tube is positioned horizontal and slowly transitions to vertical as children get older. One of the reasons that children are believed to outgrow ear infections is because a vertical tube drains better than one that is horizontal. A horizontally drain coupled with a C1 subluxation often creates the ideal situation for recurring ear infections.
2—The second way that a misaligned C1 vertebra affects ear infections is by placing pressure on areas of the central nervous system that are responsible for the functioning of the body’s immune system. Studies have shown that following a chiropractic adjustment, the body releases antibodies within the bloodstream. The approach with chiropractic care is not to treat the ailment directly, but to increase the performance of the body’s systems including the immune system so that it can defend against viruses and bacterial infections.
Chiropractic care is similar to traditional medical practices and consists of different specialties such as pediatric care, prenatal care, sports injuries and general pain relief. Each specialty is a result of numerous post graduate courses in a particular field. At Active Life Chiropractic in Ballantyne, Dr. Bob has a 91% success rate in preventing ear tube surgery (myringotomy) in children that have had the surgery recommended by an ear/nose/throat doctor.
Chiropractic Care for Children
Pediatric chiropractic care is very different than chiropractic for adults. Little force is required to mold a child’s spinal misalignments into place and is often compared to the amount of force that is placed upon a piece of fruit to determine its ripeness. In many cases a small instrument called an Activator is used to adjust the spine. The Activator relies on speed rather than force to align the spine.
Safety of Chiropractic Care
Ongoing research supports the safety of chiropractic care and chiropractors historically have some of the lowest malpractice insurance premiums amongst all medical professionals. As in any profession, a thorough exam should be performed before providing any treatments to determine if contraindications exist. A complete history including the ease of the child’s birth, history of illnesses, medications taken, injuries sustained and allergies influence the effectiveness of chiropractic care. If chiropractic care is warranted, a chiropractor should be able to estimate a timeframe, number of treatments needed, risks and at home instructions before beginning care.
If your child has had more than 2 ear infections this year, Dr. Bob Mason would love to help! Just click here to set up an appointment or call 980.406.3862 and Aria will answer any question that you have including health insurance, cost and appointment availability.
Special Rate–In an effort to help children before cold/flu/ear infection season is in full swing, we are offering a Discounted Rate for new patients. Until October 31 a new patient examination, diagnostic tests and recommendations are only $40 (valued at $150). Offer valid for new patients only. If additional treatments are purchased, patient has the right to request a refund within 3 days of purchase date.
Watch Dr. Bob adjust his son!