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Chiropractic for ear infections? How?

I have seen great success treating ear infections with chiropractic care.  Many people are confused by this and how it works.  Here is the run down.  Ear infections occur when the eustachian tubes become blocked and fluid builds up in the middle ear.  This fluid attracts bacteria and the bacteria eat the fluid.  As they eat the fluid, they give off gas, which puts additional pressure into the middle ear causing pain and discomfort.  If the problem persists and worsens, the bacteria can do damage to the middle and inner ear structures causing damage.

The traditional medical approach, is to prescribe antibiotics to kill the bacteria, and hope the eustachian tubes will open over time.  The problem with this approach is that the fluid can remain.  If the fluid remains, then the bacteria will return.  Think of it like this.  If I leave a pizza out on my picnic table, bugs will come and eat it.  If I spray the bugs with raid, they will die.  If I leave the pizza out there, more bugs will be back tomorrow.  Often times, the tubes don’t open themselves.  This results in multiple rounds of antibiotics and often leads to tubes put into the eardrum to drain the fluid from the middle ear.  Again, the problem is that the eustachian tubes are still blocked.  Properly draining eustachian tubes are the key to removing fluid from the middle ear.  These tubes drain down the neck.

So how does chiropractic help?  Adjustments to the cervical spine (neck) cause reflex relaxation to the muscles in the neck.  These muscles are often tight and are compressing the eustachian tubes so they don’t drain properly.  If there is any other inflammation around the tubes, the slightest compression can make a difference in whether the tubes drain properly.  Sources of additional inflammation can be from allergies, colds, flu, and congestion.  The adjustments also stretch the structures of the neck, which help to allow proper drainage down the eustachian tubes, even when there is inflammation present.  By getting adjustments, proper eustachian tube drainage can be encouraged and maintained.

Dr. Michael Kwast, DC, CSCS is the CEO of iChiro Clinics in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He is the author of the book, 7 Beliefs Destroying Your Health. The iChiro team has been voted the “Best of Grand Rapids“, three years in a row. They have also been awarded the Better Business Bureau of West Michigan’s Trust Award for Ethics, and the Grand Rapids Chamber of Commerce EPIC award for Small Business of the Year 2016.


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