Is there anything more frustrating as a parent than knowing your child is suffering and not being able to help? Five of six toddlers have an ear infection before they turn 3, 90% of all kids get at least one ear infection, but for about 20% of kids, frequent, recurring ear aches seem to be an inescapable reality.  However, chiropractic offers a real solution to reduce symptoms of active earaches and also to prevent future occurrences.

What Is an Earache?

A common ear infection, also known as acute otitis media, or simply as an “Earache” is a catch-all term for various kinds of infections of the middle ear, usually bacterial or viral in nature.  It’s an infection of a part of the ear drum inside the skull.  This is a result of fluid building up in the middle ear and becoming infected.  The middle ear is part of the ear responsible for receiving vibrations and conveying these signals to the brain to be heard.

Most of the time, ear infections are secondary infections resulting from a primary infection that causes swelling and congestion of the nasal passages and sinuses.

What Are the Signs?

Some common signs and symptoms that your child may display when they have an ear infection include a reduction in coordination or balance, difficulty sleeping, being more fussy and prone to crying than usual, a reduction or loss of hearing, a fever over 100 F, fluid draining from the ear such as pus or blood, headaches, and ear pain which often result sin worrying at or tugging the ear.  Your child may only have some of these symptoms and their severity may vary.

When Is It Time to Get Treatment?

Most ear infections last for a few days to a week and clear up on their own, but this isn’t always the case.  If your child is experiencing long term or repeated earaches some kind of treatment of healthcare may be necessary, both to treat the earaches and prevent additional infections. 

Also, because it is difficult to know when an earache your child is experiencing started, you should seek some kind of healthcare intervention if it seems to last more than 24 hours.  Other indications it’s time to get immediate treatment are if the pain is severe, if there is visible discharge from the ear, or if your child is less than 6 months old.

What Are the Conventional Medical Treatments?

The go-to solution for bacterial ear infections is antibiotics, often administered both orally and to the ear directly.  While this is an effective treatment, antibiotics are notorious for wiping out your healthy bacteria as well as your infection! 

Healthy bacteria, or probiotic bacteria, are integral to digesting food and actually support your immune system.  So once you start taking antibiotics, you’re more likely to need them again to fight off a future infection. 

This pattern of treating symptoms can lead to a vicious cycle of taking antibiotics more and more often and getting sicker and sicker as the vacuum in your microbiome is filled in with whatever bacteria can get to you.  Especially when we’re talking about children who struggle to remain clean, this can mean a pattern of ever worse infections.

The situation only gets worse when you introduce viral ear infections to the mix.  There isn’t a conventional medication that actually treats viral ear infections at all.  Instead, all that is available is medication to reduce the pain. 

It has been well established that pharmaceutical pain relievers can be habit forming or even addictive, as well as being hard on your liver and other vital organs that have to process these unnatural chemicals.  As a loving parent, you want your child to feel better, but probably also don’t want to introduce these potentially harmful drugs into your child’s body.

If your child has frequent ear infections, the conventional medical response is to perform a procedure called myringotomy.  This is a surgery in which a hole is drilled in the patient’s ear and kept open with a tube for 6 to 18 months.  Some of the complications such procedures can result in include permanent hearing loss, additional infections, and scarring of the eardrum.

How Does Chiro Help?

Routine chiropractic care offers immune system support that can help prevent ear aches entirely, but it also works on all the major symptoms of ear aches.  Pain and inflammation can be treated very safely and very effectively with chiropractic.

This treatment stimulates the body to heal itself, rather than introducing potentially harmful side effects from pharmaceutical interventions.  With regular treatments, your child’s immune system can be less susceptible to ear infections.  Keep in mind, chiropractic is also great for reducing the inflammation that can cause ear infections and associated pain in the first place.  This makes chiro an excellent way to deal with ear infections without resorting to potentially harmful pharmaceuticals. 

Improved functioning of the nervous system also helps your child’s brain to manage their body’s needs.  Brain-based chiropractic embraces this strategy of improving overall nervous system function, which can help with peripheral issues like mood that can affect the performance of their immune system.  Taken as a whole, chiropractic care mitigates not just the symptoms, but prevents the conditions that lead to ear infections in the first place, and it does so naturally, with no drugs, surgeries, or other potentially harmful interventions!

Natural Remedies and General Tips

If for some reason you cannot get treatment for your child from a chiropractor, there are a few natural remedies that might help to manage your child’s discomfort.


-Consider breastfeeding your baby until they are at least 6 months old, as breast milk contains antibodies that help to fight off ear infections.

-If you do bottle feed, try to make sure your baby is upright when eating and not laying down, and try to move your baby to solid foods as soon as they’re ready.

-It may sound obvious, but your child should not be exposed to secondhand smoke, this can cause inflammation in their airways that lead to infections.

– Applying a heating pad or warm compresses can help to ease the pain of an earache without painkillers.
-Homeopathic treatments exist that may help to reduce the symptoms of ear infections.  You can find these at health food stores and pharmacies.
-If your child is old enough to safely gargle, salt water can help to soothe their throat and clear their Eustachian tubes, helping their ear to drain naturally

-The more upright your child is, the better their ear drainage will be

Make an Appointment Today and Say Goodbye to Earaches

If your child has had an earache, or is experiencing one right now, you understand exactly how painful and difficult they can be.  You don’t have to stand by or spend several hundred to more than a thousand dollars on a trip to the emergency room! Call us today at (509) 637-0969 and find out how we at InsideOut-Chiropractic can help your child to live a better life free of earaches.  We can also help with many other common physical and mental health difficulties children face, so please, don’t hesitate to reach out to us.