Here’s the latest research that answers the question many parents ask themselves. Is chiropractic a safe and effective treatment method for acute otitis media (middle ear infections)?
Did you know middle ear infections are the most frequent reason for physician visits for children under the age of fifteen?
Not only is chiropractic an effective treatment method for ear infections, but it helps decrease health care costs as well. If more children were treated with chiropractic care than antibiotics they would respond faster. They show it’s also a much safer and cost effective method.
The use of osteopathic manipulative treatment as adjuvant therapy in children with recurrent acute otitis media.
This is an overview of a 2003 study published in the Archives of Pediatric Adolescent Medicine.
The statistics of children with middle ear infections and standard treatment options are staggering:
Acute otitis media is the most common infection for which antibacterial agents are prescribed for children in the United States. In 1990 there were more than 20 million prescriptions for otitis media-related antibacterials prescribed and 25 million visits made to office-based physicians in the United States for this condition.
Approximately 10% of infants by three months of age will have had an episode of acute otitis media.
50% of children by three years of age will have had more than three episodes of acute otitis media.
The annual costs associated with the management of pediatric otitis media has been estimated at $5.3 billion.
Acute otitis media results in inflammation of the middle ear and is caused by bacteria in 70% of cases. Viruses elicit acute otitis media in about 30% of cases. 7-10 days of antibiotic therapy is the most common treatment for otitis media by U.S. medical doctors; 98% of all patients follow this regime.
Antibiotic therapy does not come without risks; 2010 Journal of Epidemiology showed that infants 6 months or younger who had received 2 or more rounds of antibiotics had a 72% higher risk of developing asthma.
The literature on chiropractic management of patients with otitis media shows positive, lasting results.
This 2003 study took a group of 57 patients from the ages of six months to six years old and split them into an intervention and control group. Experiencing three or more episodes of acute otitis media over the past six months or four episodes in the past year were a pre-requisite to qualify for the study.
The intervention group received a treatment described as a gentle technique on areas of spinal restriction. The control group received standard medical treatment. Patients in each group were scheduled for nine visits during the study: approximately three weekly, three bi-weekly, and three monthly. Each visit contained a thorough medical and behavior history as well as monthly tympanograms for measurement.
The results were as follows; the treatment group had 16% fewer episodes of acute otitis media, a 17% reduction in antibiotics, and 87.5% fewer surgical procedures. These results were accomplished with a small amount of visits over a relatively short span of time.
Another study out of the March 1996 Journal of Manipulative Therapy showed that 93% of acute otitis media episodes improved while under Chiropractic care and 75% improved in ten days or fewer. Of the children receiving adjustments, 43% had improvement with only one or two treatments.
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