Although your infant cannot tell you what is wrong, your intuition says it is another middle ear infection.
The statistics would suggest that your hunch is probably right. Earaches are the #1 reason for visits to the pediatrician’s
office. As a parent, that probably comes as no surprise. But, you may be surprised to learn that both the American Academy
of Pediatrics and the Academy of Family Physicians recommend a “watchful waiting” or “wait and see”
approach to acute ear infections. Research published in the prestigious Journal of the American Medical Association demonstrated that there was no difference in fever, otalgia (pain) or number of future visits between kids that were given
an antibiotic prescription and those that were not. As it turns out, antibiotics only outperform the body’s own immune
system in a handful of cases.
At the same time, numerous studies of manipulative therapies
including chiropractic care have shown remarkable results without the side effects of antibiotics. A groundbreaking 1997 study of 332 kids ages 27 days to 5 years indicted a strong correlation between chiropractic adjustment and the resolution of otitis
media (the technical term for a middle ear ache). Just to highlight one finding – there were 104 kids in the group classified
as having ‘chronic’ otitis media. This group of kids got 5 chiropractic adjustments each. Across the next six
months the recurrence rate among this group was only 16%!
Let’s put that data
into more human terms. That means that 84% of these kids classified as having chronic ear infections went six months without
having another one after just 5 adjustments. A full half year devoid of screaming in the middle of the night, lost sleep and
anguish of watching your child suffer for 84% of the parents.
The prior study published
in a chiropractic journal spurred further research into the uses of chiropractic care for acute and chronic ear infections.
The critical questions was - how would chiropractic fare head-to-head with standard pediatric care? A 2003 study published in a pediatric medicine journal comparing children receiving manipulative therapy and those receiving standard
pediatric care, found that those who received manipulative therapy had fewer episodes of Acute Otitis Media (AOM), fewer surgical
procedures and had higher rates of normal tympanograms.
This amazing news for parents
has been validated and confirmed numerous times since then. The International Chiropractic Pediatric Association (ICPA)
even maintains a webpage of all the published research studies done on children’s ear infections and the role of chiropractic
care in treatment and prevention. The last time I looked there where 25 separate studies listed. You can view
the full list at: http://icpa4kids.org/Chiropractic-Research/Ear-Infection-Otitis-Media/
All this data and research is great, but at the end of the day what matters to parents
is getting their own child out of pain and on a path to a success in school, sports and life without the constant interruption
of ear infections. Don’t spend another sleepless night pacing the halls with a screaming toddler in your arms. Call
us now and make an appointment for a consultation.
Don’t wait until another
ear infection strikes. Prevention is always the better option. Besides, when your child is in pain, your anxiety level as
a parent goes way up. We want you to be able to ask all your questions and get all the facts at your own pace and not feel
pressured to make a decision or start treatment because your child is screaming. Of course, if your child does have current
symptoms, we want to see both of you as soon as possible.
Spiro DM, Tay K, Arnold DH, et al. Wait-and-see prescription for the treatment of acute otitis
media: a randomized controlled trial. Journal of the American Medical Association 2006; 296(10): 1235-1241.
Mills MV, Henley CE, Barnes LLB, Carreiro JE, Degenhardt BF. The use of osteopathic manipulative
treatment as adjuvant therapy in children with recurrent acute otitis media. Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine
2003; 157(9): 861-866.