“Mama, my ear hurts!” – The Chiropractic Approach to Childhood Ear Infections
Often in my conversations on this subject, I come across the interchangeable use of the terms ‘common’ and ‘normal’. I want to make it clear that ear infections in children are fairly common these days. They are not normal.
As a pediatric chiropractor, I’d like to use this blog post to help you understand why chiropractic care for this common childhood condition is so successful.
Let’s take a look at how ear infections are commonly treated. In the medical community: they are often treated with oral antibiotics, antibiotic ear drops and/or tube surgery. It is very well documented that antibiotic use in children should be used with extreme caution and we know that all surgeries come with their risks.
Most parents want to avoid these invasive treatments and prefer an effective, natural approach. Ear infections, especially when they are chronic and recurring, are one of the most common reasons that parents bring their kids in to start care in my office.
To see why chiropractic is so effective, it is helpful to understand the two main factors that lead to ear infections:
- Poor drainage of the ears
- A weakened immune system
The top two bones of the spine (also known as vertebrae) share a lot of nerves and muscles with the inner ear and sinuses. When these vertebrae are not moving properly, we start to see a clogging up of the ears, sinuses and lymphatics (immune system). It is the movement of the bones and muscles that help milk and drain the fluid from these areas. Without movement of these vertebrae, the fluid is not flushed out.
Wet environments are a perfect breeding ground for bacteria and viruses.The longer that fluid sits in the ear canal or sinuses, the greater the opportunity for viruses and bacteria to grow and create infections.
There are many reasons for why the upper spine might not be moving well. The birth process, c-sections, forceps, labor inductions, falls, improper carrying of your baby, whiplash, and even quick stops in a car can pull the spine out of alignment.
A pediatric chiropractor is able to gently realign the vertebrae and restore proper movement so that the fluid can be properly drained by the body.
Another important part of this whole process is the spinal cord which lies inside the entire length of the spine. The spinal cord, along with the rest of the nervous system, is responsible for sending signals to the immune system so that it can turn on and fight off invading bacteria and viruses. When our vertebrae are out of alignment, they interfere with how our spinal cord and central nervous system send signals to our body, slowing down or interrupting the process. As a result, our immune system becomes compromised and we can’t fight off infections very well. When your pediatric chiropractor corrects any misalignments and improves movement of the spine, they are also making sure that the immune system is receiving the messages it needs to fight off the bacteria and viruses it comes in contact with.
The treatment involves light pressure on the affected vertebrae, about the same amount of pressure that you might use to feel the ripeness of a tomato. Pediatric chiropractic care is non-invasive, safe and effective for dealing with the root cause of this issue.
If you know a child who suffers from ear infections, feel free to share this article with their parents or guardians. If you have any questions about pediatric chiropractic care, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Wishing you and your family good health.
Shaila Callaghan is a prenatal and pediatric chiropractor and the owner of Vita Brain + Body KIDS, where Healthy Moms cardholders can receive an initial exam for $49 ($135 value) and 10% off ongoing appointments. Find out more here: https://gohealthymoms.com/vita-brain-body-kids