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How Chiropractic Care Can Address Ear Infections

Baby with new teethFussiness and crying. Fever. Difficulty sleeping. Tugging and/or pulling on their ears. If your child is exhibiting any of these symptoms may likely have an ear infection. So, why do so many kids suffer from this bothersome condition?

Trauma During the Birth Process

It starts with the birth and delivery process. Interventions during the labor and delivery process may create significant stress in the top part of the neck. There’s a little muscle called the tensor veli palatini that attaches around the area of C1 and is in charge of opening the Eustachian tube.

Birth trauma can create tension in the top part of the neck causing that muscle to spasm and prevents the eustachian tube from draining; this essentially creates a drainage and plumbing issue. A backup of fluid results and that stagnant fluid can create an infection in the eustachian tube.

When this process occurs, a lower or weakened neuroimmune function results, which results in an overall poor immune response. Some of the research shows that many ear infections may actually be a viral issue coming up from the lungs rendering antibiotics useless in this scenario. In addition to ear infections, children may end up with sinus, tonsil, and adenoid issues as well due to the inflammation that occurs.

But don’t kids just outgrow such issues? No, instead of growing out of such conditions they grow into other issues like asthma, allergies, and other long-term chronic health issues.

The Conventional Approach

When kids have an ear infection, many parents take them to the pediatrician and the doctor typically will prescribe antibiotics. Rarely do they culture an ear infection; they just look at the ear and may say something like, “It’s red, so it’s an infection and here are the antibiotics.”

The problem with that approach is that antibiotics destroy the gut flora where 80-90 percent of immune function comes from. Kids then get sicker and aren’t able to fight off the next ear infection. Put simply: antibiotics don’t get to the root cause. That’s why ear infections tend to reoccur over and over. Tube surgery is also often recommended when kids are having recurring ear infections. Such surgery is an unnecessary stressor for a child. The symptoms may disappear, but the true root cause is still present thus leading to bigger health issues down the road.

Teething or Ear Infection?

Often when kids start teething it creates a lot more mucous and drooling. Many parents will think their child has an ear infection because they’re tugging on their ears or scratching their cheek. However, the reality is it could just be teeth coming in, and the sensation that they’re feeling is increased blood flow to that specific area and not an ear infection.

How Chiropractic Can Help

Many times it’s not the first sought-after option to address ear infections, but we think pediatric chiropractic should be. We recommend upper cervical adjustments specific to the upper bones in the neck, particularly C1-the atlas bone. Adjusting that bone can then create an improvement in the drainage and plumbing coming from the eyes, ears, nose, and throat.

If you think your child may have an ear infection, contact us today. We want to help!

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