Chiropractic Head to Toe: Ear Infections
By Dr. Kailey Fargo
Did you know that ear infections are so common that are actually the number one reason children visit the pediatrician? Children are much more prone to ear infections because of the anatomy of the inner ear. The Eustachian tube (or ear canal) is more level or horizontal in children, making it easier for fluid to pool. As children age, the angle of the canal changes and gains more of an angle, which aids with proper natural drainage. Ear infections can be caused both by bacteria and virus and can present with a variety of symptoms including fever, ear pain, difficulty sleeping, ear tugging and irritability. Ear infections are often a drainage issue—the ear is unable to drain the fluid some it becomes stagnant, creating a prime environment for bacterial growth.
While one option for treatment is antibiotics, the CDC recommends waiting 2-3 days to begin use as many infections will clear on their own. Here are some natural things to try first to help cure infection and alleviate associated symptoms:
- Chiropractic care! Gentle and specific adjustments will help combat the stress in the upper neck which can help relax the muscles in the inner ear. This sets the stage for proper drainage and flushing of bacteria. Chiropractic adjustments also help to boost the immune system from inside out, which allows the body to help fight infection on its own.
- Garlic drops—garlic has both antibiotic and pain-relieving properties. Buy premade garlic drops for the ear, or soak crushed garlic in warm olive oil for a couple minutes. Strain the garlic out and pour into the ear.
- Warm compress—applying a warm compress, like a heating pad or damp washcloth, to the ear can help alleviate some of the pain associated with the infection. This is safe for small kiddos as well.
- Changing sleep position—some sleep positions can aggravate an infection while some can help. Sleeping with the affected ear raised instead of facing downward can help drain the ear over the course of the night. Elevating your head can also help with drainage.
As always, watch for an increase in symptoms and seek medical advice if no changes have been made after a couple days of natural treatment. Utilizing the techniques listed above can make a huge difference in symptoms and the infection.
If you need additional information on how chiropractic care can help with ear infection relief please give us a call: (952) 209-7447. Our chiropractors are trained in pediatric chiropractic care.