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Posted on 06-01-2016

Why a Chiropractor for Ear Infections?

 Many people have been hearing that some people are starting to go to the chiropractor when they are suffering from chronic ear infections, especially with their kids. When they ask these people, did it help? Most of the time you are going to get a positive response saying YES! Why did it help? That’s when you normally get the blank stare. They are not sure, but they are happy with the results. With that being said I would like to help explain what is going on with an ear infection and what a chiropractor is doing that is relieving the symptoms of an ear infection.

Let’s start with explaining what an ear infection is. The official name is Otitis Media and typically the primary symptoms are soreness, pain and discomfort in the area surrounding the ear as well as: fever, fluid draining, trouble sleeping, loss of appetite and grumpy behavior. An ear infection occurs when your Eustachian tube becomes swollen or blocked and traps fluid in the middle ear. The trapped fluid can become infected. In young children, the Eustachian tube is shorter and more horizontal than it is in older children and adults. This makes it more likely to become infected, which is why we see younger children more often dealing with these symptoms.

The dilemma that a chiropractor is looking to solve is with the Eustachian tube. Why is it swollen or blocked trapping this fluid? A chiropractor looks at the nervous system because it controls everything. The nervous system controls the muscles that function around the Eustachian tubes in your ears to help drain fluid properly. When you have nervous system stress, which in young children comes with child birth, tension is occurring and the nerves running to muscles are not able to properly fire. The muscle that affects the Eustachian tube is called the Tensor Veli Palatini. When there is nervous system tension in the upper spine from child birth this muscle can become fixated or almost locked in a sense. This causes the Eustachian tube to become trapped or blocked, trapping fluid. As this fluid is trapped, infection can set in.  When this occurs, the standard recommendation is an antibiotic to help with the infection. However, this is only going to solve the infection the one time, and if the problem is viral the antibiotic has no effect on the infection. A prescribed antibiotic will help the infection, but it will also suppress the immune system because it is meant to fight bacteria including the good bacteria in our bodies that makes up a majority of our immune systems.  As you can see the infection may or may not be taken care of, along with suppress the immune system, and the underlying issue is still there.

When a chiropractor sees this issue, they go to the spinal cord. They know that there is nervous system tension in the upper spine and they adjust it. The term chiropractors use for this nervous system tension is called subluxation. When a subluxation is removed with an adjustment, this relieves the tension, lets the nerve flow properly to the muscle, and then finally lets the muscle relax and function like it is supposed to. When the muscle is able to fire correctly, it affects the Eustachian tube properly removing fluid correctly as the body intended it to.

This one example is a great way to explain how a chiropractor looks at the human body and their philosophy in general. They try to find the root cause first through the nervous system because the nervous system is the master system of the body. They look to remove interference in the nervous system so the body can function correctly.  This allows the body to heal on its own. When your body is able to heal, symptoms start to dissipate. When I say symptoms, I do not only mean pain or ear infections. The possibilities are endless with examples ranging from improved digestion, increased energy, better immune system, fertility, and decreased stress just to name a few!

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