Around 80% of children experience an ear infection before their third birthday.
Chiropractic care can work alongside prescribed medicine as an alternative, natural ear infections treatment helping to alleviate your child’s pain at a faster rate.
What Is an Ear Infection?
An ear infection, also called otitis media (OM), is caused by either a bacterial or viral infection that occurs just behind the eardrum, which is known as the middle ear. The infection alone does not cause the pain; instead, it is the inflammation and build-up of fluid which creates discomfort.
There are two types of ear infections: acute or chronic. Acute, although painful, are short-lived. Chronic ear infections, on the other hand, continually recur. With these types of infections, you run the risk of permanent damage to your ear.
How Do I Know if My Child Has an Ear Infection?
In young children who cannot always articulate their pain and discomfort to you, it can be tricky to know whether your child is simply irritable or is suffering from something more severe, such as an ear infection.
Children suffering from an ear infection may show the following signs:
• Pulling at their ears
• A fever, especially in infants
• Fluid draining from their ear(s)
• An unusual amount of fussiness and crying
• Unusual signs of clumsiness
• Difficulty sleeping
• Problems with hearing
If you notice any of these problems, it is time to take them to see a medical professional who can prescribe the correct medication for your child.
How Can a Chiropractor Help?
While medication or antibiotics prescribed by your child’s physician will alleviate symptoms and pain, a chiropractor can offer additional, alternative ear infections remedies.
A chiropractor will offer your child a series of treatments that are both non-invasive and natural. As many ailments and health issues often derive from misalignments or joint problems elsewhere in the body, chiropractic care will re-align and re-adjust those issues, thus improving your child’s overall bodily health and nervous system.
It has also been known for chiropractic care to help reduce inflammation and swelling in the ear, and even to encourage natural fluid draining from the middle and inner ear.
Scientific research on the effectiveness of chiropractic care on ear infections in children seems to support what chiropractors have observed for many years.
A 2012 review of 49 scientific articles published in the Journal of Chiropractic Medicine found there was some evidence that OM responded well to chiropractic care. The study reviewed four clinical trials, five case series, eight reviews, 15 case reports, and 17 commentaries, the majority of which went through a peer review process. All 49 articles discussed the use of spinal manipulative therapy (SMT) to treat or supplement the treatment of OM in children ages six years old and younger.
Using standardized checklists to verify the quality of each article they reviewed, the authors found evidence for positive reactions to chiropractic treatment. In fact, they noted only three of the articles observed minor transient negative side effects. None of the 49 papers observed serious adverse reactions. They concluded by saying “there appears to be a potential benefit from SMT in pediatric patients with OM” while calling for more research.
Natural Healing or Pharmaceuticals?
While the research isn’t final, the evidence that chiropractic might help is important. As parents, we must decide what’s best for our children. Treatment with pharmaceutical drugs might be effective, but it can come with risks due to side effects. With the low risk of adverse effects, chiropractic care presents a great case for its use as an alternative or supplementary treatment for ear infections.
At Michigan Chiropractic Specialists, we understand just how important your child’s health is to you. Chiropractic care can work well alongside medical care to alleviate the pain your child feels, allowing them to be their happy, usual self once more.