How Effective is a Chiropractor for Ear Infections in Adults?

adult with ear infection symptoms

When ear infections strike in adulthood, they can be a source of intense discomfort and frustration. 

Conventional medicine often suggests antibiotics, but what if there was an alternative? 

Have you ever considered a chiropractor for ear infections in adults

Surprising as it may be, a growing body of research suggests that chiropractic care can offer potential relief. 

Let’s explore how effective chiropractic treatments can combat the persistent pain of adult ear infections, presenting a new perspective on an age-old problem.

What are Ear Infections in Adults?

Imagine a dull, constant throbbing in your ear, like the incessant beat of a drum, day in and day out. 

To add to the discomfort, there’s a sensation of fullness, almost as if your ear is jam-packed with cotton balls. 

Sound familiar? You’re not alone. 

This experience is shared by countless adults worldwide who suffer from ear infections. 

Ear infections in adults, though often associated with children, are a real and challenging concern. 

They occur when bacteria or viruses infiltrate the section of your ear behind the eardrum, igniting an inflammation that results in a painful and frustrating condition that can disrupt everyday life. 

But fear not; there’s more to the story. 

These troublesome invaders don’t always have the final say, and there are some promising ways to fight back.

Common causes of ear infections in adults include:

  • Common Cold  
  • Allergies
  • Sinus Infections 
  • Smoking
  • Changes in Altitude or Climate
  • Poor Hygiene
  • Obstructive Sleep Apnea
  • Chronic Skin Conditions
  • Use of Certain Medications

Two Types Of Ear Infections

adult female having symptoms of ear infections

1. Acute Otitis Media (AOM)

Acute Otitis Media, often shortened to AOM, is one type of ear infection. It’s when your middle ear quickly fills with fluid, like water in a clogged sink. This sudden fluid buildup causes swelling and pain. If you have AOM, you might notice a sense of fullness in your ear, serious discomfort, and even fever.

2. Otitis Media with Effusion (OME)

Otitis Media with Effusion, or OME, is a bit different. It happens after the original infection has passed, but some fluid remains trapped behind the eardrum. It’s like the leftover water after you’ve unplugged the sink. OME can occur without any noticeable symptoms, but it can impact hearing due to fluid buildup. It’s important to get checked by a doctor if you or a loved one suspect OME.

How Chiropractic Can Help Ear Infections in Adults?

Ear infections aren’t just a childhood ailment—they can be a source of pain and annoyance in adulthood as well. 

Traditional medical treatments typically include antibiotics or even surgery, but for those seeking a holistic approach, chiropractic care offers an alternative path to relief and healing. 

Often overlooked, chiropractic techniques can significantly benefit adults experiencing ear infections by addressing physiological imbalances and promoting overall wellness.

Techniques Used by a Chiropractor for Ear Infections in Adults

chiropractor helping adult for ear infections

Chiropractors use various techniques to alleviate ear infection symptoms, focusing on holistic healing methods to promote the body’s natural capacity to heal itself. 

Here, we highlight a few common approaches.

Spinal Adjustments

Spinal adjustments are fundamental in chiropractic treatment and can indirectly aid in resolving ear infections.

The theory is that misalignments in the spine, particularly the upper cervical vertebrae, can affect the nervous system and contribute to dysfunction in the Eustachian tubes.

By realigning the spine, chiropractors alleviate nerve pressure, which can then improve Eustachian tube function and drainage.

Cranial Adjustments

The bones of the skull might seem immobile, but slight movements do occur and can influence bodily functions.

Cranial adjustments target these bones, including those around the ear canal, to restore normal movement and facilitate fluid drainage in the Eustachian tubes.

This technique targets the root cause of fluid buildup, helping clear up infections without the use of medication.

Lymphatic Drainage Techniques

Chiropractors may also employ lymphatic drainage techniques to support the body’s immune response.

Gentle manipulation of the lymph nodes can enhance lymph flow, which is vital for filtering out bacteria and other pathogens contributing to ear infections.

Supporting lymphatic drainage can help detoxify the middle ear and promote quicker healing.

Benefits of Visiting a Chiropractor for Ear Infections in Adults

Chiropractic care for ear infections goes beyond techniques. 

Sessions with a chiropractor can hold comprehensive benefits for those struggling with recurring infections.

1. Improved Eustachian Tube Function

Adjustments inclusive of spinal and cranial techniques can aid in restoring optimal Eustachian tube function, thereby reducing the likelihood of fluid buildup that causes infections. Regulated drainage keeps the middle ear clear and free of infection-causing agents.

2. Boosted Immune System

A well-aligned spine is key to a properly functioning nervous system, which is intrinsically linked to the immune system. Chiropractic care reinforces the body’s defense mechanisms, aiding in the prevention of infections. Improved immune function leads to a lower incidence of infections and other ailments.

3. Reduced Pain and Inflammation

The anti-inflammatory effects of chiropractic adjustments contribute to reduced pain and discomfort associated with ear infections. As spinal alignments improve nervous system communications, the body’s inflammatory response is more accurately mediated, steering clear of excessive inflammation that leads to pain.

Traditional Approaches

chiropractor adjusting ear of an adult

Traditional treatments for ear infections primarily rely on medications and surgical interventions. 

Here’s a closer look at these approaches.


Antibiotics are usually the first line of defence against ear infections. These medicines kill bacteria causing the infection, thereby providing relief from symptoms.

However, they’re not suitable for every situation, particularly for viral infections. Also, overuse of antibiotics can lead to antibiotic resistance, which can make future infections more difficult to treat.

Pain Relievers

Over-the-counter pain relievers such as Ibuprofen or Acetaminophen can help manage the discomfort and reduce fever associated with ear infections.

While they do alleviate symptoms, they don’t address the underlying cause of the infection.


Prescribed ear drops work by reducing the ear’s inflammation, easing pain, and aiding the healing process. These may be used alone or in combination with oral antibiotics.

Ear Tubes

In some chronic cases, doctors may recommend a minor surgical procedure to insert small tubes through the eardrum.

These tubes aid in draining fluid and equalizing pressure, reducing the recurrence of infections. This procedure is more common in children, but adults with chronic ear infections may also benefit.

Pros and Cons of Chiropractic Care for Ear Infections

Just like any other form of treatment, chiropractic care has its benefits and drawbacks when it comes to dealing with ear infections. 

Let’s delve into the pros and cons of this holistic approach. 

This will help you to make an informed decision on whether to consider chiropractic treatment for ear infections.


  • Holistic Approach
  • Few Side Effects
  • Boosts Immune System
  • Reduces Pain
  • Avoids Antibiotic Resistance
  • Prevents Recurrences


  • Time-Consuming
  • Initial Discomfort
  • Costs
  • Not for Severe Cases
  • Limited Research
  • Varied Results

Case Study 

John, a 35-year-old engineer, had been suffering from recurring ear infections for several months. 

Despite numerous courses of antibiotics, the infections persisted. 

Desperate for a solution, he sought a chiropractor for ear infections in adults. 

After a few sessions of spinal and cranial adjustments, John’s ear infections began to subside. 

His chiropractor also taught him lymphatic drainage techniques, which he implemented daily. 

Within a month, his ear infections had cleared completely and have not recurred since.


1. What is the basis of chiropractic treatment for ear infections?

Chiropractic treatment for ear infections is based on the premise that spinal and cranial adjustments can help restore proper function in the Eustachian tubes, which in turn can help clear up infections.

2. How does chiropractic treatment improve the immune system?

A well-aligned spine is crucial for a properly functioning nervous system, which is closely linked to the immune system. Chiropractic care helps bolster the body’s defences, which can aid in preventing infections.

3. Is chiropractic care a suitable replacement for traditional treatments like antibiotics?

Chiropractic care can be an effective treatment to complement traditional treatments, but it may not be suitable for all cases, particularly severe ones. It’s important to consult your healthcare provider to determine the best course of treatment.

4. Are there any disadvantages associated with chiropractic treatment?

While chiropractic care comes with several benefits, it might also be time-consuming, cause initial discomfort, and could be costly. Moreover, results may vary depending on individual cases. 

5. Does chiropractic treatment cause any side effects?

Chiropractic treatment is generally considered safe but may cause initial discomfort. It is important to discuss potential side effects with your chiropractor before beginning treatment.

6. Can chiropractic care help prevent recurring ear infections?

Yes, chiropractic care aims at improving Eustachian tube function and bolstering the immune system, which can help in preventing the recurrence of ear infections.

Bottom Line

Chiropractic care offers a natural, holistic approach to managing ear infections in adults. 

It not only targets the symptoms but also strengthens the body’s immune system and enhances the function of the Eustachian tubes, contributing to a sustainable, long-term solution.

While it may not be the perfect fit for everyone and isn’t recommended as a stand-alone treatment for severe cases, the benefits it provides can’t be overlooked. 

Remember, everyone’s body responds differently, and what works well for one person might not work as effectively for another. 

If you found this information helpful and you’re intrigued by the transformative power chiropractic care can wield, delve deeper and read more about it in our other blog posts at Chiropric. 

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