How can chiropractic help prevent ear infections in my child?

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How can chiropractic help prevent ear infections in my child?

May 10, 2012

By Guest Blogger Dr. Jennifer Wise, DC

Pregnancy, Postpartum and Pediatric Chiropractor at Thrive Natural Family Health
Ear infections are one of the most common reasons for a visit to the pediatrician and can be very scary if they are recurrent.  Conventional treatment involves antibiotics and eventually surgery, if the infections continue to return.  Recently, the overprescribing of antibiotics has become a concern for many parents and as such, they are looking for alternative ways of dealing with these infections in their children.

Middle ear infections (Otitis Media) occur in the Eustachian tube, in the middle ear.  The function of the Eustachian tube is to equalize pressure in the ear and to drain fluid from the ears.  As a child grows, the tube moves from a horizontal position (at birth) to a 45 degree angle to provide the ability to drain fluid from the ear.

The top bone in the spine, called the atlas, sits just below the ear and can misalign to one side or the other.  These misalignments can be caused from childbirth, minor slips and falls, sleeping in the wrong position (like in car seats and strollers) and sibling rough housing -among other things.  If this happens, pinching or misalignment of the Eustachian tube can occur, which can cause bacteria to stay in the tube and allow infections to build.

The correction of these misalignments involves a very light and gentle adjustment using light fingertip pressure and vibration.  The most common reaction from parents is “That’s it?!” as they often expect the type of adjustments that an adult would receive.  Since a child’s bones are still very small and they don’t have the long-standing muscular tension that most adults do, the amount of force needed to adjust a child is much less than an adult.

The amount of time for correction varies from child to child, but after an assessment, your pediatric chiropractor will be able to provide you with a timeframe and an appropriate schedule for treatment based on your child’s unique case.

If you are going to bring your child to a chiropractor, it is recommended that you find a chiropractor that has special training to take care of the unique needs of children.  For more information on chiropractic for kids, please visit our website at www.thrivehealth.ca

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