Otitis Media (earaches) and Chiropractic

January 19, 2015

Otitis media, or a middle ear infection, is fairly common among infants and toddlers. Approximately 75% of the population will have at least one case while growing up. More often than not, these infections will run their natural course without any concerns or complications. However, sometimes they can be more severe than others and produce a discharge of pus, or seem to develop into a recurrent infection that never seems to clear up entirely. In these cases, chiropractic care has been found to provide considerably relief.

In 2003 the Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine published a study in which 57 patients were divided into a group receiving routine pediatric care or a group receiving routine pediatric care plus manipulative therapy. The pediatricians of both groups were blinded with respect to which group their patients were in. The physician performing the manipulative therapy was blinded with respect to the course of pediatrician treatments on each patient. All of the patients in the study had regular ear infections with at least three in the previous six months or at least four in the past year. At the end of the study, only one of the 25 patients receiving manipulative therapy needed surgery compared to 8 of the 32 who did not receive treatment. Treated patients were also found to have fewer incidences of recurring infections, thus reducing the risk of antibiotic overuse as well.

Another study in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics in 1996 was slightly less stringent clinically (due to no control group to compare with) produced a few numbers on how quickly one could expect to see a resolution of ear infections. All 43 patients were being treated with Applied Kinesiology and SOT, just like we use at Reinecke Chiropractic here in Sioux Falls, were seen three times the first week and twice for the next week and one treatment the week after. Once those three weeks were completed the patients were no longer treated, nor were they once the symptoms were gone based on parental or doctor reports. It was found that over 90% got relief within those three weeks, 75% within the first two weeks, and nearly half in just one or two visits.

It’s even more important for young ones to get checked and adjusted than adults because spinal misalignments present from an early age will cause more profound problems in adulthood. Birth trauma is a common cause of these misalignments in infants. After all, if you think about how traumatic birth can be for a mother, imagine it from the child’s point of view. However, in specific conditions including otitis media chiropractic is especially beneficial and can reduce the chance of antibiotics or surgery.

--Joshua J. J. Jorde D.C.


Read the abstracts here