If your children have ever suffered from an ear infection, you know how painful and irritating they can be. It's very common -- 5 out of 6 kids have an ear infection before age 3 -- but some children have them repeatedly.
Ear infections, sometimes called otitis media for "middle ear," most often develop after a viral respiratory tract infection, such as a cold or the flu. In that case, antibiotics are not helpful. Is there anything that you can do as a parent to help ease the pain and discomfort for your child?
For kids who have trouble with frequent ear infections, chiropractic care can be helpful. Chiropractic adjustments help to remove pressure from the ears and can help speed healing. Here's the scoop on ear infections and how chiropractic care can help.
How Do You Know if Your Child Has an Ear Infection?
Many children with ear infections are too young to properly describe what's going on, so you need to be alert to the possible symptoms. They include:
- Fever that's higher than 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit
- Irritability or abnormal fussiness
- Reduced appetite or obvious trouble chewing
- Pulling on the ear or pushing at the side of the head near the ear
- Vomiting or diarrhea
If you notice these symptoms in your child, call your pediatric care provider immediately. You want to rule out any issues like something stuck in the ear or a bacterial infection.
Not your first go-round with an ear infection? You're likely familiar with how your child reacts. A viral or chronic ear infection may be treated with chiropractic care for relief from symptoms.
What Can Chiropractic Adjustments Do to Help Ear Issues?
The idea behind chiropractic care is that neurological and other health issues can be improved by fixing any places in the vertebrae that are out of alignment. Chiropractors use gentle manipulations of the spine, joints and soft tissues to help move the body back into alignment.
In the case of children with ear issues, chiropractors may manipulate the skull and neck to improve middle ear drainage. Proper alignment of the head and neck can help open the Eustachian tubes in the ears that become blocked and help them drain.
In a study published in the Journal of Manipulative Physiological Therapeutics, 46 children under age 5 received regular chiropractic adjustments to treat the symptoms of ear infection. Of those children, 93 percent had some improvement; 75 percent were better in fewer than 10 days and 43 percent had relief after one or two treatments.
For more information, contact Rockwood Chiropractic or a similar location.