Ear infections are very common in children and one of the most common reasons for antibiotic use. But did you know, that the majority of ear infections are actually caused by a viral infection, not a bacterial infection? So that is why the antibiotics given to children don’t always work. They are actually weakening the immune system further, since antibiotics kill all bacteria in the body, including the “good” stuff. But that is actually not where I want to go with this topic…
Some of the most common causes of ear infections are allergies, mechanical obstructions, infections, nutritional deficiencies or even birth traumas.
Just a little anatomy lesson about the ear: We have a small tube, called the Eustachian tube, that connects the middle ear to the throat to allow fluid to drain through the nasal passage. Most ear infections involve the middle ear. In children, the Eustachian tube is small, narrow and is horizontal. In adults, it is wider and angled downward to allow fluid to drain with the help of gravity. Because of the position of the Eustachian tube in children, it is more likely that fluid will not drain properly leading to fluid buildup and obstruction, putting pressure on the eardrum and can lead to infections.
There are small muscles that surround the eustachian tube that cause it to become wider to allow fluid to drain. These muscles are supplied by nerves that come from the brain (cranial nerves) and the neck (cervical nerves). If there is nerve interference in these areas, it can affect the function of these muscles and prevent them from working properly.
As chiropractors, we remove nerve interference to allow the body and nervous system to function like it should. We allow the body to do what it is meant to do, which is heal itself. Chiropractic also decreases inflammation and muscle tension, it increases mobility and blood/lymph flow, which all affect the function of the middle ear. Not only does chiropractic adjustments help mobilize the drainage of the middle ear, they also increase the immune system 200-400%.
So if you are looking for a natural way to help with ear infections, give chiropractic a try!
Dr. Jessica Stensland is a busy family wellness Chiropractor in Urbandale, Iowa. She spends her weeks taking care of dozens of families. Not only does Dr. Jessica specialize in pediatric and pregnancy chiropractic care, but she’s a board certified Acupuncturist. Dr. Jessica believes that a healthier community means taking care of all ages. She is a Minnesota native and enjoys seeing family and friends in her free time, in addition to staying active and reading the many books she has on her kindle.