New Research Sheds Light on Hearing & Ear Infections

Research News Staff
New Research Sheds Light on Hearing & Ear Infections

Chiropractic May Play Important Role for Suffering Children

Recent research reporting on improvement in a young boy undergoing chiropractic care reveals that chiropractic may play an important role in managing children with hearing loss and ear infections. The research, reported in the Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health – Chiropractic, includes a review of the literature supporting the role of chiropractic in children suffering from ear infections and hearing loss and calls for more research in this area. The boy in the study had already undergone several rounds of antibiotics, three rounds of surgery and had his adenoids removed. All of those interventions had failed to help him.

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“Numerous case studies and some clinical studies are revealing that there is a relationship between structural shifts in the spine, the nervous system and the various problems related to infections and hearing loss” stated Dr. Matthew McCoy, a chiropractor, public health researcher and editor of the journal that published the study. “These types of structural problems in the neck obstruct the nervous system and by removing the obstruction chiropractic helps improve nerve supply.” 

With everything we know about the spine and nervous system, chiropractic intervention makes perfect sense in the case of a child who has chronic ear infections along with hearing loss. 

“In fact, chiropractic is the management of choice for dealing with the structural and neurological aspects of these types of problems” remarked McCoy, adding “This child was experiencing significant disruption in quality of life as a result of his chronic infections and hearing loss and the medical interventions did not help. It wasn’t until the chiropractic intervention that the child improved dramatically and in a very short time.”  

The patient reported on in the study was a 9½-year-old boy with chronic ear infections since the age of two. His lymph nodes were swollen and he had frequent fevers and difficulty sleeping. 

Traditional medical interventions were not helping. In the 7 years prior to chiropractic care he had been treated repeatedly with antibiotics, butterfly tube implants three times and his adenoids were removed. Despite these failures his otolarygologist recommended a fourth surgery to insert tympanostomy tubes in his ears. He could not concentrate on his schoolwork and had a number of absences from school.  

The chiropractor examined the child and found forward head syndrome, decreased spinal range of motion, spinal pain, and muscle spasm. Most significantly he had structural spinal shifts in his upper neck. These structural shifts can lead to obstruction of the nerves and it is this obstruction, called vertebral subluxations, that chiropractors correct. 

Following chiropractic care the subluxations reduced, his hearing improved, his ear infections and fevers stopped and the fluid in his ears was gone. He no longer needed tubes inserted in his ears, his sleep improved and school absences decreased. 

The authors call for more research on the chiropractic care of children suffering from ear infections.

Contact Information: 

Matthew McCoy DC, MPH
Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health – Chiropractic
McCoy Press