Ear Infections & Chiropractic Adjustments

The most frequent reason for physician visits for children under the age of fifteen in the United States stem from otitis media, better known as a middle ear infection. Otitis media is the most common infection for which medical doctors prescribe antibiotics for children. Approximately 10% of infants will experience an ear infection by three months of age and 50% will experience at least three ear infections by the age of three. The annual costs associated with the management of pediatric ear infections lands around $5.3 billion.


According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), a clinical practice guideline for the management of an ear infection begins with an initial observation option period.

The observation option period refers to deferring antibiotic treatment for 48-72 hours due to the damage antibiotic treatment inflicts upon the GI tract and the overall health of the subject. Surveys indicate that only an approximately 15% of medical doctors wait the prescribed 48-72 hours before administering antibiotics. The 2010 American Journal of Epidemiology states that every infant under the age of six months old who has been on two or more rounds of antibiotics share an astounding 72% higher risk of asthma than children who do not undergo antibiotic cycles.


Prescribed medical treatment typically lasts through a seven to ten day course of antibiotics.  Amoxicillin is the recommended first line therapy for antibiotic management of ear infections. Surgery becomes an option if a child has multiple ear infections in one year. Surgeons perform millions of ear tube surgeries on children each year, many with little success.


Traumatic birth experiences often link to more ear infections. One author states that birth trauma and caesarian section children have a higher incidence of otitis media due to the lack of cranial molding during the birth process or a small subtle misalignment of the upper cervical vertebrae called a subluxation. Subluxation produces interference in the central nervous system that increases the susceptibility of an ear infection.


Numerous studies demonstrate the effectiveness of a Chiropractic adjustment to help an infant or child overcome an ear infection. One study showed that 93% of all episodes improved while under Chiropractic care and 75% of them improved in less than ten days.  43% of children with ear infections improved with only one or two adjustments. Another study showed that children receiving Chiropractic care experienced fewer episodes of ear infections, reduced use of antibiotics, and fewer surgeries.


More and more research continues to compile statistics and scientific explanation outlining all of the benefits of Chiropractic care on ear infections. Research also details an ever building case regarding the negative short and long-term consequences of antibiotic use. Parents simply want solutions that do not involve drugs and surgery. The statistics and numbers regarding ear infections provide ample advocacy for the healthy alternative found in the hands of a local Chiropractor.

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