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How Chiropractic Care Can Help Your Ear Infection

Ear pain is one of the most common reasons parents bring their children in for medical treatment. Increasingly, parents are looking to chiropractic as a treatment option that does not use antibiotics to treat otitis media, or middle ear infection.

Chiropractors work to address the cause of health issues rather than simply treating symptoms. Spinal misalignments, called subluxations, of the neck–cervical vertebrae, may occur during the birth process, or result from tumbles and falls. Left untreated, subluxations can cause nerve irritation that disrupts normal body function over time. In the case of ear pain, misalignment may affect the eustachian tube and lead to fluid buildup and infection in the inner ear.

Antibiotics, a common treatment of ear infection, may not be effective and may lead to antibiotic resistance and recurrent ear infections. Chiropractic adjustments are designed to restore nerve function so that the body can heal itself without medication. If your child has chronic ear infections, consider chiropractic adjustments as a conservative, drugless approach. As a non-invasive option, adjustments are gentle and painless, as well as safe for children, according to the American Chiropractic Association.

Study Suggests the Benefit of Chiropractic Treatment for Ear Infection in Children

A 1997 study published in the Journal of Clinical Chiropractic Pediatrics suggests a correlation between chiropractic adjustments and the resolution of ear infections. The study, summarized here, included 332 children up to age 5 with chronic ear infections. Each child underwent a series of chiropractic adjustments.

The results show that close to 80% of the children did not experience another ear infection within the six-month period following their initial visits. The follow-up period included maintenance treatments every four to six weeks.

A related 1996 study found that 93 percent of 46 children participating showed improvement following chiropractic adjustments, with 43 percent improving after only one or two sessions.For a case study examining resolution of recurrent ear infections in a child undergoing chiropractic care, see the Journal of Clinical Chiropractic Pediatrics.

Non-Medical Remedies for Ear Pain

While chiropractic adjustments offer a non-medical treatment for a potential root cause of ear infections, you might also consider alternative remedies for ear pain that do not involve medication. (Consult your health care professional if you or your child has a high, prolonged fever.)

  • Try alternating warm and cold compresses on the ear to relieve pain. Start with an ice pack for 10 minutes and then alternate with a heating pad or warm washcloth.
  • Tea tree oil is derived from the Melaleuca alternifolio tree, native to Australia. Used as a natural remedy for generations, the oil has antiseptic, anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory properties. Mix a few drops with a small amount of olive oil, warm the mixture to body temperature and apply to the ear canal.
  • Many find relief from ear pain using hydrogen peroxide. Place several drops of hydrogen peroxide into the affected ear. Let it sit for several minutes before draining. Rinse the ear with distilled water.

To learn more about the many benefits of chiropractic adjustments, or make an appointment for a consultation. Visit

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