Ear Infections

Dr. John W. Phelts, D.C.

Ear infections occur when fluid in the ear does not drain and becomes stagnant.  This creates a breeding ground for bacteria to multiply.  The eustachian tube drains the ear into the throat to prevent this from happening.  Ear infections are more common in children, because their eustachian tube is angled horizontally, whereas in adults it is angled downward into the throat. 

What Research Says About Ear Infection Treatment:

Ear infections in children are usually treated with the antibiotic Amoxicillin.  However, the

Agency of Health Care Policy and Research concluded there was no benefit from Amoxicillin in preventing ear infections.1  The Journal of the American Medical Association published a research study that states that Amoxicillin actually increases the risk of a reoccurrence of ear infection by 2-6x.2 

Numerous studies confirm that chiropractic care is effective for the treatment of ear infections.  In fact, in 2002 Oxford Healthcare began recommending that you bring your child to a chiropractor for treatment of an ear infection before going to a pediatrician.  One study showed that 43% of cases improved with only one or two treatments; 75% improved in 10 days or less;  and 93% improved within two weeks.3

How does chiropractic help with ear infections?

Chiropractic adjustments help with ear infections by relaxing the muscles around the eustachian tube so that the ear can drain more efficiently.  Studies also show that adjustments to the cervical spine (neck) give a boost to the immune system.

Here Is An Interesting Study:

200 pediatricians and 200 chiropractors were surveyed to determine the differences found in the health status of their respective children raised under the different health care models.  The 'chiropractic' children showed a 69% otitis media (inflammation of the middle ear) free response, while the 'medical' children only had a 20% otitis media free response.4

1. March 1994-Newsweek 

2. Cantekin EI. Antibiotics to prevent acute otitis media and to treat otitis media with effusion.   JAMA 1994; 272(3):203-4 / Medline ID: 94293436

3. Froehle RM; Ear infection: a retrospective study examining improvement from chiropractic care  and analyzing for influencing factors. J Manipulative Physiol Ther 1996; 19(3):169-77 / Medline    ID: 96294956

4. van Breda WM; van Breda JM. A comparative study of the health status of children raised under the health care models of chiropractic and allopathic medicine. J Chiro Res 1989; 5:101-3 / Mantis ID: 10048