Objective: To discuss the clinical outcomes following chiropractic in a child with chronic, recurring ear infections and to review the epidemiology, etiology, allopathic approach, chiropractic theory and current literature related to otitis media.
Clinical Features: A 9½-year-old boy presented with his mother for a physical examination and possible chiropractic care for a primary complaint of ear infections. According to the mother, the patient had previously been given a diagnosis of recurrent otitis media. The patient was recommended to have a fourth set of tympanostomy tubes placed in his ears. The examination revealed decreased ROM, hypertonic and tender cervical spine musculature, lymphadenopathy and vertebral subluxations.
Intervention and Outcomes: The patient was adjusted with a non-invasive high velocity, low force adjusting instrument particularly at C1 and C2 vertebral levels. The subject also received low-level laser therapy and cervical chain lymph massage. Over the course of care the patient had resolution of ear infections, improvements in hearing and an avoidance of a fourth set of tympanostomy tubes.
Conclusion: This case reports on improved hearing, resolution of otitis media and improved hearing following chiropractic care. This supports other studies that have identified positive outcomes from otitis media when removing spinal subluxations. Further research on the relationship between chiropractic care and otitis media is encouraged.
Author keywords: chiropractic, subluxation, adjustment, Arthrostim, HeNe low-level laser therapy, otitis media, eustachian tube, hearing loss, tympanostomy
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