Grand Rapids

(616) 458-8063

Lake Odessa

(616) 755-1211

Grand Rapids (616) 458-8063
Lake Odessa (616) 755-1211

Grand Rapids (616) 458-8063
Lake Odessa (616) 755-1211

Ear Infections- Why they are so common in kids and how chiropractic can help

If you haven’t had a chance to read my last blog about children and chiropractic, go check that one out and then come back here!


Now that we have talked about why all kids would benefit from chiropractic care, let’s talk a little more about certain conditions that children may experience and how chiropractic can help.

Ear infections! If you know anything about kids and chiropractic, it is probably that chiropractic is great in helping with ear infections. I’m not here to say that we TREAT ear infections, because we don’t. We treat the spine, which influences the nervous system, which controls our entire body- which does in fact include our ears.

So to start out, what causes ear infections and why are they more common in kids? Ear infections occur when the Eustachian tube is inflamed, leading to a buildup of fluid within the ear. At birth, the Eustachian tube is more horizontal, narrower, and shorter. As you grow, it becomes wider and more vertical. Basic laws of gravity will allow you to understand that a more vertical tube will allow for easier drainage. The horizontal nature of the Eustachian tube that we see in children is what makes it more difficult for the ear to drain properly, especially when it is inflamed. Now it makes more sense why children have way more ear infections than adults do!

What is done to help these ear infections? If you go to your primary care doctor, they will likely start by putting your child on antibiotics. If the ear infections persist, there may be talk about inserting tubes into the ears. If you’re lucky, your primary care doctor might even recommend you to see a chiropractor before further steps are taken. There are a lot of controversial topics that parents have to deal with and argue about, but I think all parents can agree that giving their children medications and surgeries is not on the top of their priority list. That is where chiropractic comes into play.

As discussed previously, chiropractors help the body to perform the way it was intended to. Your ear is intended to drain, so it’s important to figure out why it is not draining, and treat that. Two muscles that drain the Eustachian tube are called the tensor veli palatini and the levator veli palatini. As discussed in my last post, your spine has a direct influence on your nervous system and your nervous system is the way your brain and body communicate to one another. If the nerves that are controlling those two muscles are not communicating the way they should be, that means there is interference in your nervous system that isn’t allowing for messages to be sent properly. A gentle adjustment to a child can allow for those pathways to send messages efficiently, and the ear can then drain again, as intended. Pretty cool, I know!

Think of it like this- your nervous system is like a roadway. If you send a letter in the mail to your friend on the other side of town, but their road is shut down for construction, they aren’t going to get the letter. So what needs to be done? The road needs to be repaired so that your message can be sent without interference and in a timely manner. 

This same concept can be applied to other common issues that children deal with. In torticollis, interferences need to be removed from the nerves supplying the muscles to the neck. Gentle cervical adjustments can help to allow those messages to send properly. In constipation, the nerves that control the muscles that push stool through the intestines need to function without interference. Misalignments in the lumbar spine and sacrum of your child could put pressure on those nerves, leading to GI issues. 

I think you are starting to understand that the nerves control our entire body and any interference can lead to issues, which is how chiropractic can be related to so many different things. 

I’m going to finish off this post by recommending anyone interested in research to visit icpa4kids.com to get further research. This website is such a great tool for anyone to use to get published research in order to get a better understanding about chiropractic for children, pregnant women, and the general population. I’m going to share just one of the research articles on ear infections, just to help you understand just how powerful chiropractic adjustments can be. 

A one year old infant was taken into a chiropractic office after suffering bilateral ear infections. The baby had FOUR ear infections in just 6 months. For parents who know the stress of having a sick one year old, just imagine having a sick one year old 4 times in just 6 months! This infant received chiropractic treatment 1-2 times per week for 6 weeks. After a total of 9 adjustments, the child’s ear infection not only resolved, but did not occur again. No drugs, no surgeries, just removing interference so that the body could function as intended. 

I cannot count how many patients show up in our office saying “I’ve tried everything else and nothing worked, so I figured I would give chiropractic a try.” We are so frequently told we are a last resort doctor, and guess what, most of us don’t care because our primary goal is making sure you are functioning at your best! If you have any questions about ear infections, please feel free to reach out to me and we can chat!

In my next post I’m going to talk all about chiropractic for pregnant women and I cannot wait to share all the benefits with you!


Stay safe and healthy, 

Dr. Kristin


IG: dr.kristin.satterly

Email: [email protected]


https://www.vertebralsubluxationresearch.com/2019/01/16/resolution-of-chronic-recurrent-bilateral-ear-infections-following-chiropractic-care-in-a-one-year-old-infant-a-case-report-review-of-the-literature/



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Grand Rapids

Monday
9:00 am - 1:00 pm 3:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Tuesday
10:00 am - 1:00 pm 3:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Wednesday
9:00 am - 1:00 pm 3:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Thursday
10:00 am - 1:00 pm 3:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Friday
9:00 am - 1:00 pm
Saturday
Closed Closed
Sunday
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Lake Odessa

Monday
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Tuesday
7:30 am - 11:30 am 3:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Wednesday
12:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Thursday
7:30 am - 11:30 am 3:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Friday
1:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Saturday
Closed
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