A case study published on July 17, 2014, in the Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health documented chiropractic care helping a 9-year-old girl who was suffering from chronic ear infections, neck pain, and headaches. Ear infections, clinically known as otitis media (OM), are an inflammation of the middle ear, and are currently the most common reasons for children under the age of 15 to visit a medical physician.
The study begins by noting that otitis media costs between 2 and 5.3 billion dollars annually in the US. The highest prevalence of cases is in children between the ages of six to fifteen months. The authors also report that “…approximately two-thirds of all children will be affected by the age of two.”
In this case, a 9-year-old girl was brought to the chiropractor with primary problems of chronic ear infections and headaches. The medical care the girl had been receiving was ineffective. The case study reported that the little girl was scheduled to have tympanostomy tubes placed in her ears in three weeks. Her problem had left her with approximately 60% hearing loss in her left ear and 30% hearing loss in her right ear.
In the four months prior to being brought to the chiropractor, the girl was treated with antibiotics for her ear infections five times. In three of those episodes, her tympanic membranes had burst. In addition to the ear problems, she was suffering from neck pain and occasional but severe headaches. Her mother had even brought her daughter to a neurologist to no avail.
It was reported that the girl’s severe headaches were interfering with her daily activity including her personal hygiene and her school work. During, and for a few days after each of her ear infections, her ability to hear was reduced to the point where she had difficulty participating in conversations.
A chiropractic examination was performed that included neck range of motion, manual and digital palpation, and a spinal postural analysis. From the examination, it was determined that the girl had subluxations in her neck and lower back, and a specific course of chiropractic adjustments was begun.
The results of the chiropractic care were immediate and profound. The study records that over the first three weeks of chiropractic care, the girl did not experience a single headache. The girl reported that her daily activities were a lot easier, especially when it came to blow-drying her hair.
After three weeks of chiropractic care, the girl was brought to an otolaryngologist for a re-evaluation where it was found that the girl’s hearing level had returned to 95% of normal. As a result of these profound improvements, the tympanostomy tubes surgery was considered unnecessary, and the procedure was cancelled. During the next 5 years of chiropractic wellness care, it was reported that the girl only experienced three headaches.
“Numerous studies have identified positive outcomes in otitis media with chiropractic care based on the detection and removal of spinal subluxations,” the authors wrote in their conclusion. “This case study demonstrated a total remission of chronic ear infections in a girl under chiropractic care.” They also commented, “The use of antibiotics and tympanostomy tubes are rendered regularly despite significant risk of serious side effects and sequelae. Complementary and alternative medicine, including chiropractic, provides a justifiable alternative care approach.”