J Pediatr Matern Fam Health 2010 (Jun 21): 99–106
McCoy P., Boutilier A., Black P.
A case study involving a 9-month-old boy with a history of recurring ear infections, who was subsequently helped with chiropractic, was documented in the June 21, 2010 issue of the scientific periodical, the Journal of Pediatric, Maternal and Family Health.
The study author points out that the most frequent reason for physician visits for children under the age of fifteen in the United States, is otitis media, more commonly known as ear infections. Acute otitis media is the most common infection for which antibiotics are prescribed for children in the United States. The study also notes that by 3 months of age approximately 10% of infants will have had an episode of acute otitis media, and by 3 years of age 50% of children will have had more than three episodes of acute otitis media.
In this case the nine month old boy was brought by his mother to a chiropractor for evaluation and possible care. The case history noted that the boy was having recurring ear infections and there was consideration given to possibly having tubes placed in his ears. The child was born via cesarean section, and had no history of falls or accidents. The mother states that the ear infections started after vaccinations at the age of four months. The boy was suffering from episodes of the ear infections about every three weeks and was taking antibiotics regularly.
The chiropractic examination noted that in addition to the ear infections there was muscle tightness in the boy's neck. Thermal scans also showed asymmetry in the neck and a determination was made that multiple subluxations were present. Subluxations (a.k.a. Vertebral Subluxations) are when one or more of the bones of the spine (vertebrae) move out of position and create pressure on, or irritate spinal nerves. Spinal nerves are the nerves that come out from between each of the bones in the spine. This pressure or irritation on the spinal nerves then causes those nerves to malfunction and interfere with the signals traveling over those nerves. This can then cause changes in function in various areas of the body.
Specific chiropractic adjustments were initiated according to the findings of subluxation. The study reports that by the second week of care the young boy's mother reported that the child was pulling at his right ear and was not sleeping well. Upon examination, both ears were clear, with some wax but no fluid. By the third week of chiropractic care the child stopped pulling on his ears and seemed to be doing well.
A re-examination was performed in the fifth week of care documenting that the boy had not had any ear infections since the start of care. His mother reported that her son's naps were longer and he was getting better quality sleep. After seven weeks the boy was brought to his Ear Nose and Throat (ENT) doctor, who confirmed that his ears were clear and there was no need for tubes, or antibiotics.