Chiropractic and Ear Infections 

 October 5, 2010

By  Dr. John Vilkelis


An enormous number of children experience otitis media (ear infections) and the recurrence rate for these children is as high as 96%.  There are many different approaches to treating ear infections that may be provided by as many different types of practitioners.  The reason there are so many treatments is because of the relative failure of the medical community to resolve this problem.

Ear infections account for approximately 35% of the visits to the pediatrician’s office.  The medical approach has been for many decades to prescribe antibiotics for each and every ear infection that sometimes might mean up to 25 rounds of antibiotics on one year for an individual child.  A few years ago the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) changed its policy and does not recommend antibiotics for most ear infections.  The AAP states that approximately 90% of children ages 6 mos to 4 years will experience an ear infection.  They still recommend antibiotics but do not give them as a blanket treatment.  If pediatrician is unsuccessful in treating the OM (otitis media) they may recommend putting “tubes” in the child’s ear.  I don’t recommend this, there are many complications that can derive from Eustachian tubes and I would try everything else before subjecting my child to surgery and the long term discomfort of the tubes.

The chiropractic approach centers on upper cervical adjustments of the spine and occiput.  Dr. Joan Fallon, a chiropractor, published a study in 1997 that showed after chiropractic treatment, children had a 15% recurrence rate after six months; that’s an 85% cure rate!  Dr. Fallon performed another study around 2002 with my children’s pediatrician’s office.  The children had multiple ear infections and multiple rounds of antibiotics.  In the study, the pediatrician referred one child to the chiropractor and the next child received antibiotics.  The results were similar to the original study however, the antibiotic group had a 90% recurrence rate after six months and the chiropractic group had a 15% recurrence rate.

Below is a news report from NBC News in Boston that was posted on Youtube concerning chiropractic and ear infections.

In the end, if my child is facing surgery and/or hearing loss from recurrent ear infections, I would try chiropractic first.  It’s safe, effective and noninvasive.

Please let me know what you think of this post.  I would love to share your experience.

Dr. John Vilkelis

Dr. Vilkelis has been in private practice for over 27 years. He has a reputation for truly caring for his patients and goes the extra mile to make sure people get the help they need. He accepts patients of all ages and is eager to help you get well and stay healthy. Give him a call today at (914) 618-4330.

Dr. John G. Vilkelis

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  1. Wonderful blog! I truly love how it? s easy on my eyes as well as the data are well written. I am wondering how I can be notified whenever a new post has been made. I have subscribed to your rss feed which need to do the trick! Have a nice day!

  2. Chiropractic treatment is a conservative, drugless approach to try if your child has a history of chronic ear infections. Chiropractic adjustments are usually painless and are not invasive, like drugs that can have harmful side effects.

  3. Chiropractic mobilizes drainage of fluid in the ear, and allows a child to build up their own antibodies to fight off an infection more quickly. Depending on how chronic an infection has been, children generally need to get several treatments. Once they fight an ear infection themselves, kids tend to not to get further ear infections unless they have an abnormally shaped Eustachian tube, or other risk factor. Chiropractic is safe and effective and should be tried before giving a child antibiotics and certainly before inserting tubes in their ears.

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