More and more parents are seeking chiropractic care as a way to treat their child’s ear infection. Childhood ear infections are very common in the US. Ear infections also called otitis media, is an acute infection of the inner ear caused by a virus or bacteria. The infection becomes very painful for the child as pressure increases inside the ear can stretch the membrane of the ear drum. When your doctor looks into your child’s ear they are looking for the redness, swelling, and fluid as the classic indicators of otitis media. Ear infections are the most frequently diagnosed illness in children and most commonly cited indication for antimicrobial therapy in children.
What does it look like?
- Child persistently holding or rubbing their ear
- Increased fussiness and crying
- Decreased hearing
- Low fever
- Fluid coming out of the ear
How common and how much?
- In 2006, approximately 9 million children, ages 0-17, reported to have ear infections or otitis media. Of those, 8 million children reported visiting a physician or obtaining a prescription drug to treat the condition.
- Medical spending to treat otitis media totaled $2.8 billion in 2006.
- Mean annual expenditures for those with an expense related to otitis media were $350 per person.
- More than one-third of ear infection prescription medications expenditures were paid from out of pocket. (US Department of Health and Humand Services.)
With increased antibiotic resistant bacteria, misuse of antibiotics to treat viral infections, antibiotic allergies, and rising healthcare cost many parents are looking for a safer and natural alternatives. Too often we rush into trying to find a treatment. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that the first step should be to watch and wait. If we give the body time, many children are able to fight the infection on their own without the help of antibiotics. A child who is able to fight off an ear infection on their own will decrease their chances of recurring infection. If the infection persists and doesn’t show signs of diminishing consider looking to the natural methods first.
The Natural Approach
Chiropractic is a natural approach which works with the body’s nervous system. The nervous system consisting of the brain, spinal cord, and nerves is the communication system of the entire body. Misalignments called subluxations at the top of the neck can occur in the birth process. These subluxations at the top of the neck reduce the quality of vital nerve impulse which can lead to a decreased function in the body. Misalignments of the vertebrae at the top of the neck may also restrict proper drainage of the Eustachian tubes in children. In children their Eustachian tubes are more horizontal compared to the vertical adult Eustachian tubes. The horizontal tubes are susceptible to becoming blocked more easily. At our office we use the Gonstead Technique. This safe and gentle approach is safe for pediatrics and uses the least amount of force necessary with the highest level of precision to correct the subluxation. Children typically respond favorable within 24 hours if the subluxation is corrected. In one case study, 46 children with otitis media had their spines check for subluxations and were adjusted. After 1-2 visits, in all of the children, 93% of all episodes improved, 75% in 10 days or fewer. (J Manipulative Physiol Ther 1996 (Mar); 19(3): 169-177).
Whatever the symptom, the best solution is always to address the cause. Too often we want the fastest way to feel better yet ignore the actual problem. Chiropractic is safe and natural. Please give us a call so your little one can begin functioning at their best again.
By John Ballam