On September 24, 2018, the Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health published a case study documenting the improvement of earaches and hearing in a boy who was scheduled to have ear tube surgery. Earaches, clinically known as Otitis Media (OM), is any inflammation of the middle ear and is typically caused by a bacteria or virus.
The study points out that Otitis Media is the most common reason to visit a medical physician for children under the age of 15 years. It is a very common problem affecting about 2/3rds of children under age two, and generating approximately 20 million visits to physicians each year. This problem is estimated to cost more than $3.8 billion dollars each year in the U.S. alone. Otitis Media is considered to be chronic if the condition lasts more than three weeks.
In this case, a 9½-year-old boy was brought to the chiropractor by his mother. The boy had been suffering with recurrent ear infections. The history had revealed that he had been suffering with ear infections since he was 2 years of age. His medical history reports that in the 7 years prior to him being brought to the chiropractor, the boy had been treated medically for multiple bilateral ear infections with antibiotics, removal of his adenoids as well as three sets of butterfly tube implants. Each of the three attempts with ear implant tubes resulted in rejection. Just prior to the time of his visit to the chiropractor, he had been scheduled for a 4th attempt at ear tube implants.
His pain level was 7 out of 10, on a scale of 0 to 10 with 10 being the worst. The boy was experiencing a fever and was losing sleep due to the problem. Because of the ear infections, the boy was missing school and having difficulty concentrating when he was in attendance. His mother stated that nothing was relieving her son’s symptoms.
A chiropractic examination was performed. It was observed that at that time, an active ear infection was present. A postural analysis showed an anterior head position and restricted ranges of motion in areas of the boy’s neck. Palpation of the spine and musculature was also performed and a determination of the presence of subluxations was made. Chiropractic care was then started.
The study records that as chiropractic care progressed, the boy’s pain level decreased from 7 out of 10 to between a 2 and 4 out of 10. A follow-up visit to his medical doctor confirmed that the ear fluid was decreasing. His improvement led to the canceling of his ear tube surgery. His rate of ear infections and fluid in his ear continued to decrease over time. It was also reported that he was missing less school, his hearing had improved and he was sleeping better.
In the conclusion the authors stated, “The purpose of this case study was to show in detail a patient with recurrent otitis media managed with chiropractic care after failed allopathic treatments. The report describes the care of a 9½-year-old male. In this case there were a marked improvements in frequency of episodes, ear pain, hearing loss, difficulty sleeping, fevers, increased absences from school, and difficulty engaging in social interactions. Chiropractic positively impacted the quality of the patient and parent’s lives.”