On June 29, 2017, the Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health published a case study documenting the resolution of otitis media with neck curve improvement with chiropractic care. Otitis media, more commonly known as an ear infection, can come from either bacteria or virus, and is most commonly associated with a cold or allergies.
The authors of this study begin with an ominous warning by noting, “If left untreated, otitis media can cause temporary or permanent loss of hearing which can in turn impair speech, language development, and create learning difficulties.” They note that two out of three children experience at least one episode of otitis media before the age of three and it is also the most common diagnosis for children under 15 years of age.
The most common medical treatment for otitis media is antibiotics. Although this approach can kill bacterial infections, this does nothing for viruses and in many cases the ear infections returns again. The most common surgical approach is putting tubes in the ears. Tympanostomy (known as tubes in the ears) accounts for 20% of surgeries on children under 15 years of age. Again, the rate of return infection is very high making the procedure less effective in the long term.
In this case, a 10-year-old boy suffering from fluid in his right and left ears for the past three weeks was brought to the chiropractor. The boy also suffered from allergies and difficulty sleeping. The boy’s medical physician recommended allergy medications which had no effect on the fluid in his ears.
A chiropractic examination was performed which included palpation, infrared thermography, and static spinal x-rays. Additionally, videofluoroscopy (motion x-rays) of the spine were done to access the individual movements of the bones in the boy’s neck.
The conclusion of the examination process was the presence of vertebral subluxations with a loss of the normal forward cervical (neck) curve. With these findings, specific chiropractic adjusting procedures were started.
The results showed that the boy’s ears drained the first two days after his first chiropractic adjustment. When he returned for his second visit to the chiropractor, he reported a 100% improvement in his ears. On a subsequent follow-up x-ray of the boy’s neck, it was noted that his neck curvature had significantly improved.
In the conclusion the authors summed up this case by saying, “In this study, the patient entered the clinic with OM (otitis media) painful enough to alter his sleep. In addition to dysfunction in the patient’s ear, he also presented with a loss of cervical curve. This case demonstrates how specific chiropractic care to remove subluxations resulted in resolution of otitis media and restored the cervical curve.”