“Acute otitis media is the most common pediatric bacterial ear infection, affecting up to 75% of children younger than 5 years.” (1) Studies show that 80% of children will have experienced at least 1 episode of acute otitis media by their third birthday and 50% will have 6 or more recurrences by the age of 7 years. (1)
Antibiotics are continually prescribed to children suffering from ear infections even though a “wait and watch” approach is recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Academy of Family Physicians and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The CDC states that mild AOM often will get better without antibiotics, this approach “gives you or your child’s own immune system time to fight off the infection first.” Chiropractic care has been shown to have a positive effect on the immune system. (2)(3)(4)(5)
Harvard Health states that “Acute ear infections are the most common infection for which antibiotics are prescribed to children. However, roughly 80% of children with acute ear infections get better without antibiotic treatment. In addition, studies show delaying antibiotic treatment with watchful waiting does not increase the likelihood of developing a serious illness.” (6) They recommend that to “help prevent acute infections, breastfeed your infant for at least six months, avoid “bottle propping,” and eliminate your child’s exposure to secondhand smoke.” (6)
The first vertebra (bone) in your spine is located at the top of your neck and is called the atlas or C1. It lies almost directly between the ears. A misalignment of the atlas can affect the eustachian tube (the tube connecting the ear and throat) and prevent it from removing fluid the way it is supposed to. A buildup of fluid in the eustachian tube not only can lead to inflammation and an infection but can also cause the feeling of ‘fullness in the ears’ and lead to things like vertigo, dizziness and meniere’s. (link to our conditions page on Inner ear disorders – Vertigo/Dizziness/Meniere’s). A study involving 300 patients with Meniere’s disease noted the existence of the aforementioned problem. (7) Another reason otitis media is more likely to occur in children is because the eustachian tubes are angled differently (more vertical) than in an adult and this can make it more difficult for the drainage of fluid.
A study performed on 332 children with otitis media concluded that “there is a strong correlation between the chiropractic adjustment and the resolution of otitis media.” (8)
A misalignment in the upper cervical (neck) area can cause a wide and varied range of health problems. How? The brain stem is located in the upper region of your spine (craniocervical junction), the first two bones in your spine help to protect this critical area. The brain stem controls and regulates vital functions within your body such as breathing, digestion, heart rate and much more. If you have a misalignment in the top two bones of your spine, not only could this affect the ability of the brain stem to function correctly, but it could also affect blood flow to the brain as well as cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) drainage.
Vertebral arteries are located safely within holes on the sides of the vertebra in the neck. These holes are called transverse vertebral foramen. The vertebral arteries that safely pass through the transverse vertebral foramen are responsible for bringing oxygen-rich blood to the brain. When a misalignment is present, blood flow can be inhibited, and this can keep the brain from properly functioning due to a lack of required oxygen. Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) is responsible for supplying nutrients to the nervous system and eliminating waste. When a misalignment inhibits the drainage of CSF, the excess fluid can start to build up and this pooling of fluid may lead to increased intracranial pressure as well as other complications. A precise correction of the subluxation in this area from an upper cervical chiropractor is vital in relieving these changes and allowing the body to properly adapt and heal.
You can see from the above information how the upper cervical spine plays a significant role in the functioning of the central nervous system. If you are searching for relief from earaches and many other symptoms that may be notable of an upper cervical misalignment, contact us today. A natural, safe and noninvasive approach to your health by an upper cervical chiropractor may be just the care you are looking for. Schedule a no-obligation consultation with us today.
- 1. Meherali, S. Campbell, A. Hartling, L. Shannon, S. Understanding Parents’ Experiences and Information Needs on Pediatric Acute Otitis Media: A Qualitative Study. Journal of Patient Experience. April 24, 2018.
- Chiropractic Journal of Australia. (1993) “The Effects of Chiropractic on the Immune System”
- Brennan, P., & Hondras, M. (1989). “Priming of Neutrophils for Enhanced Respiratory Burst By Manipulation of the Thoracic Spine.” International Conference of Spinal Manipulation, pp. 160-163.
- Healthsourcelombard.com c2019. Abundant Life Chiropractic. [Online]. [January]. Available from: https://healthsourcelombard.com/does-chiropractic-strengthen-immunity/
- Pero, R. (1988), “Boosting Immunity Through Chiropractic.” East-West Magazine
- Harvard health publishing. c2010-2019. Treating ear infections in children. [Online]. [February 2019]. Available from: https://www.health.harvard.edu/childrens-health/new-guidelines-for-treating-ear-infections
- Burcon M. Upper Cervical Protocol for Ten Meniere’s Patients, Upper Cervical Subluxation Complex, A Review of the Chiropractic and Medical Literature, Kirk Eriksen, Lippincott, Williams & Wilkens, Baltimore, MD, 2004, pp 284-286.
- Fallon, JM. The Role of the Chiropractic Adjustment in the Care and Treatment of 332 Children with Otitis Media. Journal of Clinical Chiropractic Pediatrics Vol 2, No. 2 1997 p.167-183