Chiropractor for Ear Pressure: Does it Really Work?

lets discuss role of a chiropractor for ear pressure

Are you feeling discomfort and listening to voices such as wind blowing in your ears? Your delay in getting checked by a healthcare provider can leave you with severe earache. Have you ever heard of a treatment by a Chiropractor for ear pressure?

A chiropractor for ear pressure is an often overlooked but potentially effective health professional who focuses on the body’s musculoskeletal system, and they can use a variety of techniques to relieve pressure and discomfort in the ears.

While it may seem unusual to visit a chiropractor for ear-related issues, it’s worth noting that the body’s various systems are all interconnected. A problem originating in the spine can sometimes manifest in unexpected ways, including ear pressure. Visiting a chiropractor might provide the relief you’re seeking. 

The following sections will throw light on how chiropractic care can help alleviate ear pressure. And how this pressure is generated in the ear.

Understanding the Ear Pressure

Before we look into the treatment by a chiropractor for ear infections, let’s understand what ear pressure is. Ear pressure is a barotrauma to the ear, which a patient feels when there is a difference between the pressure inside to outside the ear. 

The patient can feel this ear pressure due to the following causes:

  • Trauma 
  • Swimming 
  • Seasonal allergies
  • Sudden change in altitude
  • Sinus congestion
  • Common cold
  • Eustachian tube dysfunction, either congenital or acquired blockage
  • Acute or chronic suppurative otitis media

Common Symptoms

A patient can feel varying from mild symptoms to severe pain.

  • Fullness in ears
  • Hearing loud noises only
  • Dizziness and headache
  • Ringing in ears (Tinnitus)
  • Sense of world revolving around (vertigo)
  • Earache
  • Sinus pain
  • Lymph nodes swelling

Eustachian tube and Ear pressure

As we all know eustachian tube is a connection between the middle ear and nasal cavity. It is also important because of the following functions:

  • Balancing air pressure between ear and atmospheric pressure
  • It protects the ear from barotrauma due to loud sounds 
  • Clearance of secretions of the middle ear to the nasopharynx

Basically, the eustachian tube opens and closes by neck muscles. They are supplied by nerves coming from the cervical vertebrae. 

Cervical misalignments can cause compression to nerve roots, so paralysis or weakness of these muscles can cause blockage of the eustachian tube. So, blockage can cause retention of fluid in the middle ear, and stasis may lead to ear infections.

So, the Eustachian tube is like a canal connecting a river to a sea.

How to Diagnose the Cause of Ear Pressure?

Chiropractors adopt many ways to find the root cause of increased ear pressure; we will discuss a few of them here.

History 

The following questions may be asked of the patient:

  • Patient’s personal and family history of ear infections
  • Frequency and duration of ear pressure symptoms
  • Previous treatments tried for ear infections
  • Physical activities and habits, such as swimming
  • Current overall health status
  • Previous chiropractic treatments, if any
  • Any allergies, especially to antibiotics

Physical Examination

It involves the following methods:

  • Ear Pressure Test: This test checks for fluid in the middle ear, which can cause pressure and discomfort.
  • An otoscopy is performed to visualize the ear drum beating properly in the Valsalva manoeuvre.
  • Hearing Test: As ear pressure can affect hearing, a simple hearing test may be conducted. Rinne’s and Weber’s tests are conducted to test air conduction and bone conduction.
  • Posture Assessment: Misalignments in the body can contribute to ear pressure. The chiropractor will assess the patient’s posture to uncover any potential issues.
  • Neck and Spine Examination: A hands-on examination of the neck and spine will be done to detect any misalignments that could be contributing to ear pressure

What Can a Chiropractor for Ear Pressure Do?

Chiropractic care can be a gentle method to ease ear pressure. A chiropractor can perform specific techniques to help your body function better and ease the discomfort.

Valsalva Maneuver

The Valsalva manoeuvre is a simple exercise you can do at home to ease ear pressure. You close your mouth, pinch your nose, and gently blow as if you’re blowing your nose. This can help ‘pop’ your ears and relieve the pressure. 

Can Valsalva manoeuvre damage the eardrum?

However, it’s essential not to blow too hard, as this can cause damage and worsen ear pressure, leading to eardrum rupture. It’s always best to consult with a chiropractor before trying any at-home remedies for ear pressure.

Muncie Technique

This technique targets the Eustachian tube. In simple terms, the Muncie Technique involves the chiropractor applying gentle pressure to the roof of the patient’s mouth, which is adjacent to the Eustachian tube. 

This manipulation can help to open up the Eustachian tube, allowing it to drain any blocked fluid and thereby relieving ear pressure.

Ear Adjustments 

In this, the chiropractor elevates the ear and forces the fluids to move out of the ear through the eustachian tube. This is a totally noninvasive technique.

Spinal Adjustments

A chiropractor can perform cervical adjustments (low velocity, high amplitude) to rectify these misalignments. Misalignment in this area can lead to various problems, including ear pressure. 

How do these cervical adjustments reduce ear pressure?

Firstly, the eustachian tube opening in the nasopharynx is controlled by neck muscles. Cervical nerves supply these muscles. When misalignment of the cervical component occurs, it causes compression of nerve roots.

This treatment releases those nerve roots and makes the eustachian tube functional.

Secondly, cervical adjustments can enhance blood flow and improve nerve function in the surrounding areas, including the ears. This can further help alleviate ear pressure and associated symptoms, leading to an overall improvement in quality of life.

It’s important to note that a professional chiropractor should always perform cervical adjustments to ensure safety and effectiveness.

Craniosacral Technique

This technique mainly focuses on blocked sinuses in the face and forehead. Manual techniques are applied to sinuses externally so that fluid goes out. 

This will make the nasopharynx ventilate properly with the middle ear. So the air will have an easy way out.

Antibiotics

Alongside chiropractic adjustments, antibiotic treatment is also required. Penicillins such as amoxicillin+clavualanic acid are used for 5-7 days if an ear infection is present. 

Home Remedies

Chiropractors prescribe some routine activities to avoid further ear pressure. These activities can maintain the patency of the eustachian tube.

  • Chewing of gum
  • Yawning
  • Swallowing
  • Valsalva manoeuvre (breathing out forcefully while closing your mouth and nostrils).
  • Norsaline nasal drops are used to maintain air passageway through the nose patent.
  • Xynosine spray in adults, if difficulty in breathing happens.

Prevention of Eustachian Tube Dysfunction Relating to Ear Pressure

  • Regular ear check-ups can spot early issues.
  • Use pressure-equalizing earplugs during high-pressure activities.
  • Practice pressure-relieving techniques, like yawning, swallowing, or the Valsalva manoeuvre.
  • Stay hydrated to keep Eustachian tubes functioning effectively.
  • Use a humidifier in dry environments.
  • Maintain a balanced diet and regular exercise for overall health.
  • Avoid smoking as it can irritate the Eustachian tubes.
  • If prone to allergies, manage them with medication and use Facemasks.
  • Consult a healthcare professional for personalized prevention advice.

Case Study

Patient Profile

Franklin, a 35-year-old male, office worker.

Presenting Complaints

Franklin had regular episodes of ear pressure, often accompanied by a dull ache and muffled hearing.

Treatment

Over several weeks, he underwent targeted chiropractic adjustments focusing on neck and upper back alignment.

Progression

Franklin reported significant relief in his symptoms after the first few sessions, with his discomfort and ear pressure gradually subsiding over time. 

His overall quality of life improved, thanks to chiropractic care.

FAQS

1. Can a chiropractor help with inner ear problems?

Yes, a chiropractor can help with inner ear problems such as ear pressure. Chiropractic care focuses on the body’s musculoskeletal system to relieve discomfort. Techniques like the Muncie Technique and cervical adjustments can target the Eustachian tube and cervical spine, respectively, providing relief from ear pressure. 

2. Is ear adjustment safe?

Yes, ear adjustment carried out by a skilled chiropractor is typically safe. It’s a non-invasive method that can relieve ear pressure and related symptoms. However, like any treatment, it may have potential risks or side effects. Therefore, it’s important to discuss these with your healthcare professional before proceeding.

3. Can chiropractic adjustment help hearing?

Yes, chiropractic adjustments may potentially help improve hearing, especially in individuals with certain types of hearing loss related to nerve function or blockages in the ear.

Bottom Line

Chiropractic care can indeed be an effective treatment for ear pressure. Techniques such as the Muncie Technique and cervical adjustments can directly target the areas contributing to ear pressure, providing relief.

 Moreover, chiropractors’ advice on lifestyle habits such as diet, exercise, and stress management can further contribute to overall ear health.

 However, the effectiveness of these treatments can vary among individuals, and it’s always recommended to consult with a healthcare professional for personalized advice.

Special thanks to Dr. John for sharing his case study with us. 

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