Ear infections are the most common reason for a visit to a pediatrician in the U.S. Viruses and bacteria from colds and other respiratory infections can cause fluid to become built up in the Eustachian tubes.
The Eustachian tubes connect the middle ears to the back of the throat and nose. The primary purposes of the eustachian tubes are to regulate pressure in the middle ears, drain normal fluids from the middle ears, and prevent fluids from the nose and throat from entering the middle ears.
Adolescents under the age of 15 are more prone to ear infections because their eustachian tubes are shorter and more horizontal than a mature adult's eustachian tubes. This increases the chances for the fluid to become trapped, causing pressure, inflammation, and infection.
While antibiotics can help relieve some ear infections caused by bacterial infections, antibiotics are not always effective and are not recommended as a first line of therapy for viral ear infections. Many adolescents suffer from chronic, recurring ear infections.
In cases of acute and chronic, recurring ear infections, a chiropractor may be able to assist. Chiropractic treatments for ear infections include manipulation of the ears, cranial bones and cervical vertebrae,this procedure is most commonly known as an adjustment. Misaligned vertebrae can cause pressure on the structures that surround and drain the middle ear. Thus a misaligned vertebra often keeps the middle ear from properly draining fluid. A chiropractic manipulation can help realign the vertebrae, restore motion, and relieve the pressure within the ears. This ultimately allows the fluid to drain and the inflammation to subside.
Chronic ear infections can cause hearing problems, often leading to speech impediments and other developmental delays in adolescents. In severe cases of chronic, recurring ear infections that are not treated conservatively, surgery may be recommended in which small tubes are placed in the child's ears. In many cases, a chiropractor can help avoid the need for surgery and help the child heal naturally. The key is not waiting but seeking care as a preventative or immediately when problems are identified.
Chiropractic is a safe and effective healthcare treatment. A substancial amount of clinical studies have proven chiropractic adjustments to be a safe and effective treatment for people of all ages. It is an all-natural, holistic healthcare practice and is recognized by the National Institutes of Health as a Complimentary Alternative Medicine (CAM). It has helped millions of people rehabilitate from chronic and debilitating pain and dysfunction.
Treatment by a chiropractor for an ear infection may require only a couple visits to a couple weeks and should be followed with a preventative care program. More severe cases may require extended treatments. Many chiropractors regularly see and treat children for ear infections during the winter and flu season and during seasonal allergy periods.
Adults with seasonal allergies and other ear, nose and throat irritations may also find relief with chiropractic.
A cervical manipulation or “Adjustment” should never be attempted by anyone other than a licensed Doctor of Chiropractic or Osteopathy. A visit to your local chiropractor could help you safely and effectively manage you or your child's chronic ear infection and improve your overall health.
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