Ear infections can be terribly painful. Usually, your doctor will prescribe an antibiotic to treat the infection and it will be go away within a week. However, when ear infections keep returning, it's often time to start exploring alternative treatment methods. Perhaps you need something other than antibiotics to keep the infection from returning. One option is to see your chiropractor.
How does chiropractic care help with ear infections?
Chiropractors are best known for their ability to adjust the spine, but in fact, they are able to adjust and manipulate the other joints in the body, too. The joint between your skull and lower jaw, known as your TMJ, sits near your ear. If this joint is out of alignment, it can result in your inner ear cavity becoming compressed or being placed under excess stress. Though this alone will not cause an infection, it does make infections more likely since it irritates the tissues and makes them more susceptible to bacterial invasion.
Once you've had an infection, increased ear pressure from a misaligned TMJ may also make the infection harder to clear. The antibiotics may not entirely alleviate the infection, so once you're off of them for a week or two, the infection comes back.
Your chiropractor can adjust your TMJ to reduce inner ear pressure. This should make subsequent infections less likely and also make it easier for your body—with help from antibiotics—to clear any current infection.
Should you see your chiropractor instead of the doctor?
Chiropractic care is best used as a supportive therapy in this case. That is to say you should not see your chiropractor instead of your doctor, but in addition to your doctor for an ear infection. The bacteria that cause ear infections can sometimes be dangerous if they are allowed to spread past your inner ear, so treating the infection with antibiotics is an important measure. Seeing the chiropractor simply makes this treatment more effective.
Will the adjustment hurt?
Chiropractic manipulation is generally gentle and painless. However, if you have an active ear infection, having your TMJ adjusted may be a bit uncomfortable. Rest assured that this discomfort will be short-lived, and you'll likely experience profound relief of pain as soon as the adjustment is completed and pressure on your inner ear is reduced.
To learn more about chiropractic care for inner ear infections, reach out to a chiropractor like Dr. Jason B Kaster DC.