Childhood Ear Infections & Chiropractic


     What is the most common reason parents bring their child to the doctor?  Ear infections.  This is an inflammation of the middle ear, usually caused by bacteria, that occurs when fluid builds up behind the eardrum.  Although adults can get ear infections, they are more common in children.  The National Institute of Health has said that Five out of six children will have at least one ear infection by their third birthday.

Let’s look at the anatomy to understand why an ear infection may occur.  Behind the ear is the Eustachian tube which are smaller and more level in children than they are in adults.  This can make it difficult for fluid to drain out of the ear, even under normal conditions. If the eustachian tubes are swollen or blocked with mucus due to a cold or other respiratory illness, fluid may not be able to drain.

From a biomechanical or Chiropractic view, the atlas (first cervical vertebra aka C1) has two side projections called transverse processes and when the Atlas (C1) is subluxated (spinal vertebra misaligned) can put pressure or partially block the Eustacian tube from draining as well.

One common question, I get from patients is, “Why would my young child have a subluxation?”  I respond it’s because they have a spine like adults, they are active (running, falling, bumps, etc.) and they went through the birth process which for some can be traumatic at times on a infants spine.  The overwhelming majority of newborns that I have checked for subluxation in my 12 years of practice have shown some type of subluxation – many times at C1.  Side note: Chiropractic care for newborns is unlike care for adults and is very safe, gentle and effective.  

When the Eustacian tube is blocked, bacteria can build up thriving off the build up of mucus that accumulated.  Research has shown that children get ear infections as a result of this improper drainage of the deep neck lymphatics.  This causes fluid build up, an inflamed and bulging ear drum, and a welcome habitat for bacteria.  Since a child’s immune system isn’t as effective as an adult’s because it’s still developing, this makes it harder for children to fight infections.

The medical approach has children using antibiotics, which with prolonged use can lead to future antibiotic resistance, gut flora problems that can lead to leaky gut and other GI issues and it makes the child more susceptible to other infectious diseases, allergies, obesity, and autoimmune disorders.  Even famous medical doctors like Dr. Sears has come out and recommended a restricted and limited use of Antibiotics.  Even, the Journal of the American Medical Association had a study that concluded that children who took Amoxicillin for chronic ear infections were up to 6 times more likely to have a recurrence of their ear problem than those who received a sugar pill.  Lead author Erdem Cantekin Ph.D. said “children are being abused by the antibiotic treatment in this country.”

Drug resistant strains of childhood ear infections are rapidly increasing.  Health officials say the trend is closely linked to doctors’ misuse of broad spectrum antibiotics.  It is now known that antibiotics can cause side effects and lead to the development of drug resistant bacteria that can cause a more serious disease.  Antibiotics are not the preferred option in the early stages of the condition.

A more natural approach of killing off bacteria is to restore nervous system function which results in normal drainage of the ears and lymphatics and a more normalized function of the immune system.  Doctors of Chiropractic specialize in restoring normal function of the spine and nervous system and have shown to have a good track record in dealing with children with chronic ear infections.  I have seen an incredibly high success rate in my own clinic in treating Childhood and Adult Ear Infections and each case was a subluxation of the Atlas (C1) that we removed the nerve interference for maximum healing and removed the blocking of the Eustacian tube for proper ear drainage.


“Dr. Matt” as he is known to his patients, is in private practice, an author, nationally sought after speaker, podcaster, visionary, Maximized Living Doctor of Chiropractic and health ambassador to the general public as he educates and empowers others about true health and well-being.  He works out of two health clinics in Roswell and Johns Creek, GA (both are just north of Atlanta) and has over 11 years of clinical experience.  You can reach him at (