Chiropractic and Ear Infections: A Closer Look at One of Our Cases

DISCLAIMER: Names have been changed to protect the privacy of our patients.

I want to share an ear infection case we had with one of our little ones here in the office. For the purpose of this case study his name will be “Billy.”

Billy’s mom brought him into our office with ear infections in both ears. He had previously had 4 ear infections with antibiotics used after each subsequent ear infection. This was his fifth ear infection and his primary care physician had recommended that tubes be put in to prevent any further ear infections. Since his first ear infection, he could not go one month without getting the next ear infection.

As I start to dive deeper into the history, we discuss some of the other symptoms Billy is dealing with, mainly sinus congestion, but also swollen tonsils and mild chest congestion.

The birth history revealed that little Billy had a prolonged labor and delivery with pitocin and had suffered a few falls here and there as he was little. No colic or latching challenges but was otherwise fairly healthy.

I preceded to go through our exam on Billy, who was very nervous and crying, but I made sure to let him know that NOTHING ever hurts in our office and that Dr Brady is a certified “Tickled Doctor.” That calmed him down enough to get a good look at him, where I found a subluxation in his upper neck. A subluxation is a misalignment of one of the vertebrae in the spine that gets “stuck” in that position and starts to place stress on the nervous system, the master control system of our body. I also found one additional subluxation in his upper thoracic spine.

We confirmed our findings with our infrared thermal scans, which revealed higher levels of inflammation in his upper neck and upper back. Indicating his a subluxation in the very first bone in his spine.

When we look at our nerve chart or our “fuse box” chart, we can see that the upper cervical spine plays a large role in ear infections. For the brevity of this post will save the mire detailed science for ear infection page. Take a look at our ear infection page for a more in depth look at ear infections.

The upper thoracic or upper back contains centers for the upper respiratory system, which plays heavily into chronic ear infections.

We began our adjustments on Billy and used very gentle and specific adjustments using a tool that helps get the adjustment without having to hear a click or pop. It’s a gentle way to introduce kids to Chiropractic.

We also teach parents an easy lymphatic massage technique as well. Typically when the inner ears become filled with fluid it backs up into the lymph nodes and tonsils. This massage helps keep that fluid moving and gives the fluid from the inner ear a place to drain.

After the first series of adjustments I always tell parents to expect some sort of drainage or mucus build up. Sure enough for the first two weeks there was a LOT of drainage and mucus and he ended up getting sick towards the end. This is a really great sign. Here’s why…

When children are exposed to multiple rounds of antibiotics, there immune system is likely depleted and slow to respond, hence multiple ear infections. So to get an immune response from the body so quick is a great response!

After about a month of care the drainage finally ceased and what do you know, ears were clear. No fluid at all. After a few more weeks he got another ear infection. I know, seems counterproductive, but here’s what happened.

This was the first time he had gone over a month with an ear infection. Also because he had been exposed to multiple rounds of antibiotics, his immune system needs to rebuild, so recurrence can happen. However this time the fluid stayed for a couple days and was gone with no antibiotics.

Needless to say, the tube surgery is cancelled and he now can return to being a healthy boy.

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