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No More Ear Infections


The purpose of this study was to record the effectiveness of chiropractic care on a child with a history of failed tympanostomy tube surgery and recurrent ear infections.

There are approximately 40% of children who suffer from otitis media (OM; ear infection) before they reach five-years-old.  Acute ear infections are associated with several symptoms like fever, headache, irritability, and listlessness which may lead to hearing impairments or other complications.  In the United States, the most common treatment for ear infections in children is antibiotic prescriptions.

The current study involves a case narrative for a four-year-old male who had repeated ear infections.  His parents said the patient began experiencing symptoms at three-years-old.  Initially, the patient was given tympanostomy tubes that were inserted in his ears and fell out nine months later.

The ENT had the patient come in for a follow-up visit and wanted to schedule a second surgery due to fluid retention in his ears.  With a month to go before the surgery, his parents decided to explore less invasive options.  The patient’s mother decided to bring him in for chiropractic care.

At the initial consultation, the patient denied any ear pain but his mother said that he was constantly pulling on his ears throughout the day.  The doctor of chiropractic examined the patient’s head, eyes, ears, nose, and throat.  At each visit thereafter, an ear exam was done to look for fluid retention, redness, or excessive build-up of wax.

During extractions, the ear was red and excess wax build-up was found with the patient still pulling on his ear throughout the day.  His neurological and sensory exams were all within normal limits.

Upon examining the patient’s spine, the doctor of chiropractic found misalignments where the spine and cranium (head) meet and in the patient’s lower spine.  At the patient’s first visit, he was adjusted with the Activator instrument The Activator is a small hand-held instrument that delivers a gentle impulse force to the spine in order to restore motion in the specific area of the spine.

His care plan was set and he was examined two to three times a week for the first two weeks, then once a week for eight weeks. Each visit monitored his overall response to care.

After the first visit, the patient responded well and the mother reported symptom relief lasting over a day.  She also noted that he complained of pain and fluid coming out of his ears, but she did not see anything after looking in his ear.

She also noticed his nose was running after his initial adjustment. In addition, the patient’s mother reported that he was sleeping better and in a better mood after his adjustments.  After his first two visits, the patient’s mother said that he stopped tugging on his ears and his nose stopped running.

By the third visit, his mother had cancelled the surgery that had been scheduled.  After the patient’s twelve weeks of care a re-evaluation was done and his parents decided to continue care once or twice a month as needed. After ten months his parents decided to continue regular wellness visits for chiropractic care.

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MLA Citation: Ferranti, Melissa, Alcantara, Joel, & Brinkley, Cheney.  “Chronic Otitis Media, Failed Tympanostomy Tube Surgery & Resolution Following Adjustment of Vertebral Subluxation.”  Journal of Pediatric, Maternal, & Family Health2016.1 (2016): 5-8.