Ear Infections and Chiropractic
Otitis media (OM), commonly referred to as an ear infection, is one of the most common childhood illnesses in the world.
A very specific, gentle technique through the chiropractic adjustment has been shown to considerably help ear infections.
Dr. Eric Zielinski, a colleague of mine, also believes based on chiropractic and ear infections research, and what he has seen in clinical practice, he truly believes that if every child on the planet were under chiropractic care, otitis media would not be the epidemic that it is today.
First, I totally agree. Secondly, I too believe every child should be under chiropractic care and it is vital to their health, wellbeing, and proper growth. We can only hope and pray the good word will spread about the advantages of chiropractic care.
Back to Otitis media, or ear infections. These are most commonly acquired in children up to the age of 6 years, and peaks around 2 years of age. However, unless it’s treated, the condition can persist well into early and middle adulthood. One of those symptoms and cases we say treat early on to prevent a major problem later on.
Typically the primary symptoms are soreness, pain, and discomfort in the area surrounding the ear, as well as: -fever -fluid draining -trouble sleeping -loss of appetite -discomfort is misbehavior.
There are several signs that parents should be aware of that indicate their children have fluid accumulating in their middle ear: -If they can express or tell you of popping or ringing in the ear. -Young children will oftentimes rub their ears trying to relieve the uncomfortable feeling, even though they cannot verbally communicate that they have a problem. This may be a sign of pressure build up. -Difficulty hearing. -Balance problems, incoordination and dizziness.
Ear infections are typically treated by oral antibiotics, ear antibiotic drops, ear wicking and surgery. Tubes are generally reserved for advanced, recurrent cases or when children are developing speech delay or hearing loss. Even in the conventional medical world, tubes in the ears are less often necessary.
Although sold as a more permanent solution for recurrent ear infections, and/or perhaps necessary to prevent long-term damage from past infections, tubes are not without risk and even the medical guidelines are unclear when they should be utilized!
A more natural approach to ear infections. Although antibiotics are designed to treat bacterial (not viral) infections, a recent survey discovered that nearly two-thirds of health professionals have knowingly prescribed antibiotics when they weren’t absolutely necessary. There really is no reason that can justify the use of antibiotics for viral infections.
Here are two approaches that Dr. Eric Zielinski recommends to reduce ear fluid, ear pain and chronic ear problems.
Change the child’s and family’s diet and environment and the incorporation of manipulative modalities into the treatment plan, i.e., chiropractic, osteopathic and/or cranial sacral therapy.
Chiropractic and ear infections: In addition to visiting your chiropractor, there are several home remedy options from which you can choose. If you suspect that your child has an ear infection, Dr. Palevsky recommends the following:
Hold and comfort your child.
Try to raise the head of the bed. For smaller children, place blankets or pillows under the mattress.
Keep your child hydrated with room temperature water, clear soup and/or tea. Herbs that help to break up the mucus and comfort your child include thyme, ginger, licorice root, eyebright, elder flowers and chamomile. Keep the diet simple! (You can find many of these herbs at the Next to Nature store in our building.)
Keep solid foods to a minimum. Offer small doses of vitamin C throughout the day with fluids. Start children’s Echinacea within the first 24 hours of illness.
Diffuse lavender essential oil in the room to help calm any anxiety.
Place several drops of mullein oil in a container and warm inside a pot of water on the stove. Take several drops of the mullein oil and place them in the affected ear canal.
Gently pull and massage the ear lobe away from your child’s head and in a slightly downward direction. Use extra virgin olive oil in the same manner if no mullein oil is available.
Make a 1% dilution of tea tree and thyme essential oil and massage behind the ear and around the ear canal.
Use any one of the ear drop remedies several times a day to relieve the discomforts of the inflammation.
Please be sure to use essential oils that are organic and top grade quality whenever possible. Use the tea tree oil combination and massage it into the front of your child’s chest below the collarbones in a horizontal fashion. Then rub the oil behind the affected ear(s) and massage down the side of the neck towards the collarbones. This will help open the drainage of lymph fluid into the chest cavity and allow the congestion to drain from the head. This can be done 2-3 times per day until the congestion has resolved.
See your chiropractor, osteopath or cranial sacral worker the next day. Repeat visits as discussed with your provider.
Contact your medical health care provider if your child does not improve within 48 hours, develops drainage from the ear or appears to be getting worse.
These are some amazing tips and excellent research done by fellow Chiropractors. Schedule your session with Dr. Davis to see how chiropractic care can benefit your family!