In the October 1998 issue of the Ladies Home Journal appeared an article entitled, “Chiropractic Adjustments for Chronic Ear Infections.” This article reviewed several studies showing the effectiveness of chiropractic care for preventing re-occurring ear infections known as Otitis Media or OM.
According to the article, reoccurring ear infections account for over 35% of all pediatrician visits in the United States. Sometimes these infections are due to bacteria and sometimes these are due to a virus. The most common medical care for this situation has been antibiotics, even though antibiotics have no effect on viruses. While the article mentions that the antibiotic may be effective in an acute bacterial infection, they do nothing to stop repeat infections. Research and statistics is now showing that repeated use of antibiotics is contributing to future infections by creating drug-resistant infections. The surgical approach has met with little long term results as the “tubes” placed in children’s ears often come out and usually require a child to be put under general anesthesia to do the surgery.
The article in the Ladies Home Journal states, “Chiropractic care is thought to prevent recurrent infections by correcting misalignments (called subluxations) and allowing normal fluid drainage from the middle ear.” What the article took special note of was that 6 months after the chiropractic care was given to the children in the study, 80 percent had not suffered a recurrence of ear infections.
In closing the article did make a profound statement. They made a recommendation to parents on this subject. “If your child is between ear infections and his doctor suggests ear-tube surgery, ask if you can try chiropractic treatment first.” While we agree with that sentiment, we suggest you not wait for a period between episodes, and you don’t have to “ask” permission from any other doctor to seek chiropractic care. As the sneaker company said, “just do it!”
“Chiropractic Care of 401 Children with Otitis Media: A Pilot Study”. Found in the March 1998 edition of Alternative Therapies and authored by Fallon and Edelman.
“There is a strong correlation between chiropractic adjustment and the resolution of otitis media for the children in this study, which can serve as a starting point from which those in the chiropractic profession can examine their role.”
By the age of three, over two thirds of all children have had one or more episodes of otitis media or middle ear infection. There are numerous problems with antibiotic usage for children with ear infections such as: allergic reactions, GI upset, destruction of the gut’s intestinal flora leading to yeast proliferation and antibiotic resistance. Tubes in the ears have a 98% recurrence of infection within two months while 25% of those with tubes suffer from hearing loss years later.
The use of osteopathic manipulative treatment as adjuvant therapy in children with recurrent acute otitis media, Mills, MV; Henley, CE, Barnes, LLB et al. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2003;157:861-866.
57 patients 6 months to 6 years old with 3 episodes of acute otitis media (AOM) in the previous 6 months, or 4 in the previous year were placed randomly into 2 groups: one receiving routine pediatric care (32), the other receiving routine care plus osteopathic manipulative treatment (25).
The osteopathic patients had fewer episodes of AOM, fewer surgical procedures, and more surgery-free months and more normal tympanograms. No adverse reactions were reported.
This study suggest osteopathic manipulations may prevent or decrease surgical intervention or antibiotic overuse with children with AOM.