Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Chiropractic vs Tympanostomy Tubes

Tympanostomy tube placement is the second most common surgery for children.  Accounting for 35% of pediatric office visits each year, ear pain or ear infections are diagnosed to 62% of American children by the age of one.  80% of children will be diagnosed with an ear infection by the age of 3.  We often think of ear infections as a common childhood ailment due to the location and position of the eustachian tube in children.  Because infants are laying flat for the first several months of their lives, these tubes cannot drain properly because the tube then stays horizontal as seen in the photo above. Ear infections are the number one reason antibiotics are prescribed and overused in the pediatric population even though research has proven that the infection is more likely due to a virus than a bacteria, and that even when it is bacteria the antibiotics simply have a placebo effect.  Western medicine often looks to tympanostomy tube surgery to help the eustachian tubes drain.  30% of children will have a second set of tubes placed within the following 2 years of the first surgery.  

There are many factors that can cause ear infections in children. These include allergies, infection, mechanical obstruction, nutritional deficiency, birth trauma, not breast feeding, and pacifier use.  Allergies cause inflammation and increased mucous, leading to pressure changes in the middle ear and obstruction of the Eustachian tube (ET). The most common food allergies linked to ear infections include pasteurized cow’s milk and dairy, wheat, corn, soy, sugar and yeast, with dairy being the number one contributor. Infections elsewhere in the body weakens the immune system, and therefore a secondary ear infection may occur.  

Chiropractic adjustments remove interference within the nervous system by correcting misalignments in the spine, jaw and possibly cranial bones, without the use of drugs or surgery. Correcting misalignments also reduces muscle tension, decreases inflammation, increases mobility, and establishes proper blood flow & lymph drainage, all of which can affect the function of the middle ear and Eustachian tube.  Think of it as if you were to pinch a running hose, the water flow and pressure will be decreased.  The hose can not function properly with a kink.  This is similar to how a subulxation affects how our nerves (the hose) sends signals to our body for proper function.  A 2018 study followed a young boy who had been offered tympanostomy tubes as a "Fix" for recurrent ear infections and related hearing loss.  After only 12 chiropractic adjustments, the child returned to his ENT with complete hearling restoration and no ear infections.  Gentile, specific chiropractic adjustments are an alternative to tube placement with a higher success rate.  One adjustment however will not "fix" the issue.  A treatment plan of adjustments will correct the subluxations.  Think of it as if you were told to take a pill 3 times a day for 2 weeks.  Your doctor of chiropractic may suggest 3 times per week for 6 weeks to correct the issue.  Often times we don't allow our bodies to heal long enough while under chiropractic care.  It takes time to correct issues that have been going on for several weeks or months.  Pediatric populations take less time to heal as their bodies haven't been misaligned for as long as adult bodies have been.  
Want to learn more about the benefits of chiropractic care for ear infections?  We can help!

Yours in Health,

Dr. Nicholas J. Knutson



10917 Black Dog Ln., Suite 101 

Charlotte, NC 28214

Tel (704) 394-8556

Fax (704) 395-8556

"If you laugh, you think, and you cry, that's a full day. That's a heck of a day. You do that seven days a week, you're going to have something special." JV

K., N., DC (2018). Resolution of Hearing Loss, Improved Speech, & School Performance Following Chiropractic Management of Vertebral Subluxations in a Male Child:A Case Study. J. Pediatric, Maternal, & Family Health, 2018(2), 77-83