Ear problems like blockages or congestion can cause irritation and pain, as well as symptoms such as dizziness, ear discomfort, headaches, and sinus pain that can lead to infection. This condition can happen to anyone but is prevalent in children, individuals that live in high altitudes, and individuals who suffer from allergies. Spinal misalignments can cause interference to the nervous system that can create problems elsewhere in the body, like the ears.
If there is neck misalignment along with pinched, tangled nerve/s signal transmissions can misfire or cut off messages disrupting the process of draining the Eustachian tube. This creates a buildup of bacteria and fluid, which can cause pain and pressure. Chiropractic decompression treatment uses gentle manipulation of the cervical spine to release the pressure affecting the ear.
Bacteria or viruses cause ear infections in the middle ear. Infection often results from another illness like cold, sore throat, flu, respiratory disease, or allergies that causes congestion and swelling of the nasal passages, throat, and eustachian tubes.
The tubes functions include:
- Regulating air pressure in the middle ear
- Resupply fresh air in the ear
- Drain the middle ear
The eustachian tubes are two canals that connect the middle ear to the throat and nasal cavity, known as the nasopharynx. (The eustachian tubes are more narrow in children, which makes them difficult to drain and more likely to get clogged.)When the lining of these canals comes under stress, they can become inflamed/swollen, blocking or filling with fluid causing excessive pressure and pain. This fluid can become infected and cause ear infection symptoms.
If the ear problem is connected to a misalignment of the cervical spine, the following symptoms may be experienced:
- Loss of hearing
- Aural fullness is the feeling of a plugged or full ear
- Balance issues
- Coordination issues
- Frequent headaches
- Frequent episodes that result in vertigo and ringing in the ears could indicate Meniere’s disease, which affects balance and inner ear function.
Middle Ear Infections
Middle ear infection types include:
Acute otitis media
- This type of infection happens suddenly.
- It causes swelling and redness.
- Fluid and pus become trapped under the eardrum/tympanic membrane.
- Fever and ear pain can manifest.
Chronic otitis media
- This type happens frequently or does not go away and can take months to years.
- This type is usually not painful.
- The ear canal may have liquid coming out.
- It can be accompanied by a hole that forms in the eardrum and hearing loss.
Otitis media with effusion
- Also called serous otitis media.
- Fluid or effusion and mucus build up in the middle ear after an infection passes.
- It can feel like the ear is full.
- This can go on for months.
- It can affect hearing.
Chronic otitis media with effusion
- Fluid/effusion stays in the middle ear for an extended time.
- It can build up over and over, despite no infection.
- It can also affect hearing.
Misalignment in the upper cervical spine can cause muscles to flex awkwardly/irregularly, disrupting the opening and closing of the eustachian tubes and their positioning. This often causes inflammation along the eustachian canal, upper throat, and nasal cavity. If left untreated, the inflammation can develop into an infection, causing swelling and/or fluid buildup in the inner and middle ear. Common symptoms of middle ear infections in adults include:
- Pain in one or both ears
- Hearing is muffled
- Sore throat
- Fluid drainage from the ear
Treatments are helpful for individuals who want to reduce taking antibiotics, which can minimize immunity by destroying the healthy bacteria in the gut. Chiropractic is a simple and effective way to treat ear problems. Realigning the vertebrae relieves tissue inflammation/swelling around the Eustachian tube to allow drainage, relieve pressure, and restore health.
Spinal Decompression Chiropractor
Collins, Rachael, et al. “Paralysis from an ear infection: a severe case of otitis externa leading to acute complete cervical cord syndrome.” BMJ case reports vol. 14,12 e245594. 1 Dec. 2021, doi:10.1136/bcr-2021-245594
Harmes, Kathryn M et al. “Otitis media: diagnosis and treatment.” American family physician vol. 88,7 (2013): 435-40.
Laulajainen Hongisto, Anu et al. “Severe Acute Otitis Media and Acute Mastoiditis in Adults.” The journal of international advanced otology vol. 12,3 (2016): 224-230. doi:10.5152/iao.2016.2620
Murphy, D R. “Chiropractic rehabilitation of the cervical spine.” Journal of manipulative and physiological therapeutics vol. 23,6 (2000): 404-8. doi:10.1067/mmt.2000.108143
Polkinghorn, B S. “Treatment of cervical disc protrusions via instrumental chiropractic adjustment.” Journal of manipulative and physiological therapeutics vol. 21,2 (1998): 114-21.
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