How does chiropractic help prevent and heal ear infections – especially for children?
Chiropractic helps with ear infections on two levels. First of all, chiropractic restores nerve function. Your nervous system controls your immune system. If the immune system has been compromised, the inner ear is a great place for bacteria to take up residence. If the nervous system is working properly, the immune system won’t be compromised, thus no bacteria residing in the inner ear! If a child has an inner ear infection (otitis media), chiropractic adjustments restore the nerve function so that the immune system can fight off and kill the bacteria causing the infection.
The second level chiropractic works on is the anatomy. If the first bone in the cervical spine (neck) is misaligned, it can allow the Eustachian tube to become blocked or closed. Any bacteria in the Eustachian tube can multiply and wreak havoc on the inner ear, causing swelling/inflammation and pain. By realigning that first bone (atlas) to its normal position, the Eustachian tube opens up and a healthy immune system (a result of the same adjustment) will fight off that infection.
Sometimes, it takes a series of adjustments to repair. I’ve had adult patients with this problem and it took weeks to fix. Most of the time, a child who has ear infections and has never been under the right chiropractic care can expect to see significant results within 3-5 adjustments. Of course, this depends on the child’s lifestyle (chemical stress, emotional stress and physical stress).