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Chiropractic Care for Chronic Childhood Ear Infections

Published Date: 
September 21, 2023
Toddler boy crying and tugging on his ear.

Chiropractic treatments are a gentle, non-invasive, and safe option for treating ear infections. Most people think of sore necks and back pain when they hear “chiropractic.” However, these are only a few health issues chiropractors can help you with. 

Chiropractors increase joint mobility and improve the function of your nervous system. They focus on spinal health, enabling your body to manage all health issues you face better, including ear infections.

Some of the benefits of chiropractic care include:

  • Improved coordination
  • Improved flexibility
  • Decreased pain
  • Decreased inflammation

Understanding Ear Infections

Ear infections are one of the most common health ailments, especially for children. Five of six children are diagnosed with at least one ear infection before they turn three

The good news is most ear infections are not serious. But this doesn’t mean they aren’t painful. 

They can also trigger dizziness and impair hearing. Usually, the pain is worse, or at least less tolerated, but younger children under five. 

Doctor assessing young girl's ear.

Ear infections are caused by inflammation that’s typically related to trapped bacteria. Once the middle ear becomes inflamed, fluid builds up behind the eardrum causing pain and pressure. There is a greater risk of developing an ear infection when you have a cold, sore throat, or upper respiratory infection.

Why Do Children Get Ear Infections More Often than Adults?

Children, especially between the ages of two and four, are more likely to develop an ear infection because of their eustachian tubes.

Children’s eustachian tubes are shorter and more horizontal than vertical, allowing bacteria to travel more easily to the middle ear. Their tubes are also narrower, making them more likely to develop a blockage.

As children grow, their Eustachian tubes increase in length and width, reducing their risk of developing ear infections.

Children also have a higher risk of developing an ear infection because their immune systems are still developing. Their bodies are less able to ward off risks but over time, this changes.

Signs & Symptoms of Ear Infections in Babies

Symptoms of ear infections in babies include:

  • Ear tugging
  • Fussiness
  • Fever
  • Loss of appetite/difficulty feeding
  • Ear drainage
  • Increased crying
  • Irritability
Baby girl standing in in crib holding her ear.

Signs & Symptoms of Ear Infections in Kids 

Symptoms of ear infections in children include:

  • Pain
  • Full feeling in the ear
  • Fever
  • Muffled hearing
  • Crying, especially when lying down
  • Tugging at the ear
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Difficulty eating, drinking, and sleeping

Chiropractic Approach to Treating Ear Infections 

Chiropractic care is one of the safest and most effective ways to deal with ear infections. This is especially true for children who struggle with chronic ear infections.

Chiropractic adjustment eases ear pain caused by ear infections. It’s an alternative to using over-the-counter pain medication. While these medications are often considered safe, they still come with a risk of side effects. They also only mask symptoms instead of treating the infection's root cause. They do nothing to reduce the risk of developing an ear infection. They only reduce the pain of the infection once it occurs.

Another common approach allopathic medicine takes when a child suffers from a chronic ear infection is the insertion of tubes into their ears. These tubes help the ears drain, but many children must have multiple procedures, which can lead to hearing loss in adulthood. 

Chiropractors offer care that is safe and non-invasive. They identify the root cause of the problem and treat that. They aim to support the body in its natural healing process. Instead of masking symptoms of infections and other health problems, chiropractic care fixes the problem causing the pain.

In the case of ear infections, chiropractors adjust the occiput (base of the skull) and the C1 in the spine. This adjustment helps to straighten out the Eustachian tube so the ear can drain.

Dr. Eric Neumann D.C.

Dr. Eric Neumann grew up in Alberta, Canada where he majored in Chemistry at the University of Calgary. During his time at University, he obtained licensure as a Massage Therapist. It was clear that hands-on healing would be his calling. After suffering multiple sport-related injuries he became interested in Chiropractic. Dr. Neumann graduated from Western States Chiropractic College in 2009. He has since specialized in the treatment and management of acute spinal injuries.

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