Young children have shorter and more horizontal inner ear canals than adults. This sets them up for a higher possibility for earaches, as fluid can build up behind the eardrum and cause misery for a child.
More parents are choosing chiropractic care to treat their children’s earaches. The simple action of realigning small neck bones has myriad effects. Chiropractic adjustments help neck, face and ear muscles function better; help lymph to flow and drain; and allows your child’s body to effectively fight off infection.
Treatment of a persistent earache should start with the least invasive treatment first, which includes home remedies and a chiropractic adjustment of the upper neck. Some great home remedies include warm olive oil (not hot!) in the ear, increasing vitamin C and water intake to flush toxins and fluid and boost immune function, and limit sugar intake until the earache is better (sugar dampens the immune system and feeds bacteria). If these things do not help after a few days, then consult the medical professional. It may be that your child has a bacterial infection that can be best treated with antibiotics.
In recent years, pediatricians have begun to abandon the practice of prescribing antibiotics at the first sign of an earache. Antibiotics are only effective if A) there is an infection causing fluid to build in the ear and B) that infection is actually a bacteria, not a virus. Antibiotics do absolutely nothing in the case of a viral infection, unless you count causing lethargy and lowering the natural fighting ability of your child’s immune system.
If the antibiotics do not seem to do the trick in clearing up the earache, piercing the eardrum and inserting drainage tubes is the most extreme step. The ear already has an internal drainage system. Helping this to work better makes more sense than putting a hole where there shouldn’t be one, and opening up a sensitive area to outside infection.
The good news is that the American Medical Association has in recent years taken a “watch and see” approach, and more often anxious parents and kids are being sent home to let time work its magic. Most ear infections do, eventually, work themselves out. If your child has an earache, or if your child has experienced chronic earaches, get them to your chiropractor. A few cervical spinal adjustments may do wonders.