New Research Sheds Light on Chiropractic & Ear Infections

Atlanta, GA, July 01, 2009 --( Recent research reporting on improvement in an 8 year old girl with ear and sinus infections, headaches and neck pain undergoing chiropractic care reveals that chiropractic may play an important role in managing children with complicated health problems.

The research, reported in the Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health – Chiropractic, describes a child with longstanding health problems related to a loss of the normal curvature in her neck. Following the introduction of chiropractic care to restore this neck curve her illnesses resolved.

“Numerous case studies and some clinical studies are revealing that there is a relationship between abnormalities in the spine, the nervous system and the various problems related to ear infections” stated Dr. Curtis Fedorchuk, the lead author of the paper. “These types of structural problems where the child does not have a normal curve in the neck can cause a host of problems like those found in this young girl. Nerves supplying muscles in the neck and head are affected, as are lymphatics and the tubes draining the middle ear. By removing the structural imbalance chiropractic helps these fluids drain, and improves nerve supply and range of motion.”

The chiropractor also checked to see if the curve in her neck was normal – it was not. As a result the care included painless procedures to restore the normal curve to the child’s spine. Abnormal position or movement of the spinal vertebra can develop and this can lead to nerve interference. It is this interference, called vertebral subluxations, that chiropractors correct.

“The unique aspect of this case study is the relationship between the neck curve and the resolution of the child’s symptoms” stated co-investigator Dr. Aaron Cohen. “After several rounds of antibiotics and surgeries the parents of the child brought her to a chiropractor who checked the child’s spine for vertebral subluxations, found them and then reduced them. The child’s neck curve was also restored.”

The spine is supposed to be straight when looked at from the front or back. But from the side there are supposed to be curves in the neck, mid and low back that give support an stability to the spine. Research shows that any loss of these curves can put tremendous stress and strain on the nerves and spinal cord.

“With everything we know about the dangers of antibiotic abuse, chiropractic intervention makes perfect sense in the case of childhood ear infections. In fact, chiropractic is the treatment of choice for dealing with the structural and neurological aspects of ear infections.” remarked Dr. Matthew McCoy, a chiropractor, public health researcher and editor of the journal that published the study, “This child was experiencing a multitude of illnesses all stemming from pressure in her neck as a result of an abnormal curve. One can only imagine how miserable this child was. Obviously the medical interventions were not helping and it wasn’t until the chiropractic intervention that the child improved dramatically and in a very short time.”

The child in this study presented to the chiropractor with complaints of severe, debilitating middle ear infections with constant headaches and sinus pressure for the previous 3 years. Previous treatment included 2 tympanectomy surgeries on both ears, several rounds of antibiotics, and sinus surgery. Due to persistent headaches, neck pain, continued middle ear and sinus infections the child’s parents sought chiropractic care for her. X-rays of the neck revealed severe reversal of the child’s neck curve.

The child underwent a specially designed chiropractic care program based upon published research protocols. As a result the parents and patient reported a resolution of the headaches, sinus, and ear pain. The patient also demonstrated a significant improvement in her neck curve upon review of a follow-up x-ray. The authors call for increased research funding to study how chiropractic can help these children.

Matthew McCoy, DC, MPH
Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health - Chiropractic