It doesn’t come as a surprise to anybody, especially parents, that earaches are the most common reason for visits to the pediatrician’s office. However, you may be surprised to find out that both the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Academy of Family Physicians recommend “watchful waiting” or “wait and see” at the best approach for acute ear infections. The Journal of the American Medical Association1 published research demonstrating that there was no change in fever, otalgia (pain) or the number of future visits between kids that were prescribed antibiotics and those that were not. In fact, they found that antibiotics only surpass the body’s own immune system in a handful of cases.
Simultaneously, several studies of manipulative therapies that included chiropractic care have shown remarkable results for the treatment of ear infections without the side effects of antibiotics. A groundbreaking study2 in 1997 of 332 kids ages 27 days to 5 years showed a strong correlation between chiropractic adjustments and the resolution of otitis media (the technical term for a middle ear ache). Of particular interest – there were 104 kids in the group classified as having ‘chronic’, or long term occurrences of otitis media. These kids received 5 chiropractic adjustments each. Over the next six months the recurrence rate among this group was only 16%!
Let’s put this information into more human terms. That means that 84% of these kids diagnosed with chronic ear infections were able to go six months (and probably longer) without an ear infection after just 5 adjustments. That’s a full half year absent of screaming in the middle of the night, lost sleep and anguish of watching your child suffer for 84% of the parents.
That study, published in a chiropractic journal, prompted an interest for further research into the uses of chiropractic care for acute and chronic ear infections. The most obvious questions was – how would chiropractic care compare to standard pediatric care? In 2003 a study3 was published in Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine comparing children receiving manipulative treatment and those receiving standard pediatric care. It found that the kids who received manipulative treatment had fewer episodes of Acute Otitis Media (AOM), fewer surgical procedures and had higher rates of normal tympanograms.
This incredible news for parents and children alike has been validated and confirmed several times since then. The International Chiropractic Pediatric Association (ICPA) even maintains a webpage listing all of the published research studies and literature done on the role of chiropractic care in the treatment and prevention of children’s ear infections. The last time I looked there where 25 separate studies listed. You can view the full list at: http://icpa4kids.org/Chiropractic-Research/Ear-Infection-Otitis-Media/
All of this research is great, but I think what matters most to parents is seeing their children out of pain and on a path to a healthy life without the constant interruption of ear infections. Now I don’t say this to boast but rather give an example. I have twin boys whom I’ve adjusted literally since the day they were born. They just turned 2 years old a few months ago and neither has experienced anything close to an ear infection. In fact, they have never seen their pediatrician for anything other than their well check ups, and we primarily took them to those just to get their measurements. I credit this fact primarily to the chiropractic care they have received.
Don’t spend another sleepless night pacing the halls with a screaming toddler in your arms. Call your Tulsa chiropractor today and make an appointment for a consultation.
Prevention is always better better than waiting for the next ear infection to occur. When your child is hurting, your anxiety level as a parent goes way up. We want you to be able to ask all your questions and get all the facts at your own pace and not feel pressured to make a decision or start treatment because your child is screaming. Of course, if your child does have current symptoms, we want to see both of you as soon as possible.
1 Spiro DM, Tay K, Arnold DH, et al. Wait-and-see prescription for the treatment of acute otitis media: a randomized controlled trial. Journal of the American Medical Association 2006; 296(10): 1235-1241.
2 Fallon, JM. Journal of Clinical Chiropractic Pediatrics Vol 2, No. 2 1997 p.167-183.
3 Mills MV, Henley CE, Barnes LLB, Carreiro JE, Degenhardt BF. The use of osteopathic manipulative treatment as adjuvant therapy in children with recurrent acute otitis media. Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine 2003; 157(9): 861-866.
Dr. Jason Schluter is a Chiropractor in Tulsa, OK at Schluter Chiropractic.
Schluter Chiropractic is conveniently located off Memorial Drive in Tulsa, Oklahoma and provides quality chiropractic care to Tulsa and the surrounding areas.
To schedule an appointment, call (918) 664-3571 or visit www.DrSchluter.com.