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How to Prevent an Ear Infection with Chiropractic

Learn how chiropractic care can prevent ear infections from Dr. Karen Erickson in this Howcast video.


Studies show that chiropractic care is very safe and effective at preventing recurrent ear infections, or recurrent Otitis media. In young children, the Eustachian tube is a tube between the inner ear and the throat that is horizontal at a young age. This tube becomes filled with fluid and can become infected. As the child grows, the tube becomes more vertical and can drain more easily, but at that young stage when the tube can collect fluid, it can create recurrent ear infection.

The conventional wisdom has changed a lot over the past 20 years. Antibiotic treatment used to be the first line of defense, but no more. Physicians are more conservative about using antibiotics and now recommend a wait-and-see approach. But chiropractic care is really a very effective alternative to antibiotics or waiting and seeing. Many chiropractors have experienced treating children with Otitis media, and the work we do on children is extremely safe and gentle.

So a typical session for a child would involve a complete case history and examination. We'll particularly pay attention to the muscular skeletal system around the cranium and the neck, but we will look at the entire spine because the entire nervous system has an amazing effect on the immune system. And the adjustments we do on children are very, very gentle. We usually keep them dressed. We keep them comfortable. Some of the work is done while they're lying face down, much of it is done while they're lying face up. We make the visits lighthearted and fun for them, and they don't take an extremely long time. Toddlers usually are not known for sitting still for long periods of time.

The work itself is gentle, it doesn't hurt the child, and it's extremely effective at restoring the range of motion in the spine, misaligned areas. We'll also do lymphatic massage to drain the lymph vessels around the ears and in the cervical spine so that the congestion can clear. We'll do cranial work that will involve work on the ears and the cranium to also help restore circulation and lymphatic drainage in that area so that the propensity to get a new ear infection becomes more remote. Parents report that when their children are under chiropractic care, they get less ear infections, and in fact, they report that they get less sick altogether.

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