Chiropractic approach to childhood ear infections - CBS 5 - KPHO

Chiropractic approach to childhood ear infections

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A different approach to treating your child's ear infections as a mom in West Haven is having her son treated at the chiropractor, instead of the pediatrician.

"My ear was like completely different from this (one) and it had like a really weird feeling," said Terri Walker.

Walker took her 8-year-old son, Kyle, to the doctor when she suspected an ear infection.

"He was really holding his ear in pain," Walker said. "I had never seen him do that before." 

Kyle's pediatrician told them to turn to her chiropractor, Dr. Matthew Paterna in West Haven, for a treatment that didn't use antibiotics.

"The primary reason why ear infections occur is because the fluid in the ears is not draining properly," Paterna said.

The reason why that fluid gets backed up, is because there are muscles surrounding the eustation tube, that if those muscles get tight, it squeezes the tube.

"The reason chiropractic works is if we can get the pressure off those nerves and allow the fluid to drain naturally, there would be no need for antibiotics," Paterna said. 

Paterna said research shows 80 percent of children who get treated at a chiropractor first end up not avoiding having tubes put in their ears.

Dr. Chris Grindle at Connecticut Children's Medical Center said he doesn't see anything wrong with trying a natural approach, but he believes tubes are more effective.

"Tubes really buy you time," Grindle said. "They last six months to two years. They act as a surrogate to the Eustachian Tube helps maintain an air filled space there. It helps decrease the frequency of ear infections. it helps decrease the severity of ear infections."

Paterna said he believes the body should be given a chance to 'heal' before surgery is chosen.

"The reason why tubes are put in is because the tubes that you're born with are not draining properly. But if you don't give your body the opportunity to heal, you'll never know if that's going to work ," Paterna said.

"First thing when they first adjusted me, my ear was completely better," Kyle walker. "I was just really surprised that he was like there was no more pain. It's completely gone."

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