Earache is the most widespread purpose for office visits to pediatricians. More than 70 percent of children will have had not less than one earache by the age of three, and almost one-third will have had three or more earache occurrences. Although, what might be surprising is that earache is also the most common occurrence for children under the age of five years to be taken to the chiropractor’s office.
How Chiropractic Care Relates to Earache and Ear Infections
When a child suffering from an earache is identified as having a middle ear infection by the pediatrician, the general treatment involves a course of antibiotics. Current analysis, however, has determined that this type of treatment is often ill-advised. Antibiotics are only effective against bacterial pathogens, and due to the fact that the child’s middle ear infection may be generated by a virus, antibiotics are ineffectual. This may be the reason for a child’s chronic ear infections.
One of the many evaluations that a Honolulu chiropractor can make is whether the earache or ear infection is produced by irritation of the small nerves in the spine, called free nerve endings.
When these nerve endings are irritated, an aberrant tension is generated in the small muscles of the neck. Pressure produced on the lymphatic drainage ducts as a consequence of muscle tension can prevent adequate drainage from inside the ear. This problem stops the body from naturally rectifying the problem. In addition, balance can also be affected.
Diagnosis by a chiropractor of such a situation is made by the detection of increased tension in the neck and paraspinal muscles. Usually more tension is felt on the side of earache. The chiropractor also looks for spinal vertebrae that are either moderately out of alignment or are not moving within their normal range. There are many reasons for such aaffliction as the consequence of the many bangs, jolts, and falls almost all children undergo growing up. Frequently, a short course of spinal adjustments and manipulation of the neck muscles will assist in restoring normal lymph drainage. If your child is struggling with an earache or an ear infection, contact your Honolulu chiropractor as soon as possible.
Advanced Research and Guidelines
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), ear infection, the most prevalent childhood disease after the common cold, accounts for nearly 30 million doctor visits every year. In addition, at least 6 million courses of antibiotics are unnecessarily prescribed for the affliction. Just recently, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) released new guidelines for treating pediatric ear inflammation, and expressly recommended a period of “watchful waiting” since, in many cases, infections clear up on their own, without medication.
The American Chiropractic Association (ACA) commends the AAP on the guidelines and reiterates that chiropractic management is a “good first option” for treating ear infection conservatively. “Doctors of chiropractic have been treating children for decades with great success – helping them to avoid painful ear infections, antibiotic overuse and resistance, and ear tube surgery,” said ACA President Donald Krippendorf, DC. “Particularly when dealing with young children, drugs and surgery should be an absolute last resort.”