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Valentina Carlile Osteopata
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  • Writer's pictureValentina Carlile DO

Osteopathy and Otitis: Why do children develop recurrent and chronic ear infections? Treatment prop

When parents ask pediatricians why their children develop chronic ear infections, the answer is always the same. Children develop ear infections because their ear canals are more horizontal than an adult's, and fluid (mucus) cannot drain well into the throat, becoming stagnant and forming a breeding ground for bacteria. I also thought that was the case until I started thinking about this and asking and asking myself questions. For example, if babies are born with the horizontal canal why don't everyone develop chronic infections? You might think there are children with even more angled channels. So why do some people report ear infections in just one ear? And finally, the simplest question is this: So babies don't drain unless they keep their heads up? When babies sleep, then the fluid is not drained? There must be another explanation besides that of the ear canals.

Osteopaths have written for decades that there is an intrinsic movement throughout the body, including the bones of the skull, and that this movement continues from when one is born to when one dies. This discussed movement is similar to what the ribcage does when it expands and contracts during breathing but much thinner.

Although it is subtle, it is important in preventing infections by acting as a pump on fluids. I agree with the fact that the fluids that stagnate in the ears become a breeding ground for bacteria. However, it is this subtle movement in the temporal bones that acts as a pump in the ear canal and drains the ears. Without this, bacteria can grow out of control and lead to infection.

Movement can become dysfunctional in both ears or just one. If it is reduced to only one, then the child will be more likely to develop infections only in that ear. This pump also works regardless of the position of the baby's head. So it is not dependent on gravity to drain the ears. It is by restoring this pump effect that you help your child stop having chronic ear infections.

In the 1980s, the University of Arizona made a video about Dr. Robert Fulford, a distinguished osteopath. Dr Fulford frequently treated children with chronic ear infections in his office. The treatments had a fortnightly cadence with the result that they stopped having infections. Wouldn't it therefore be necessary to reconsider the hypothesis that there is only a problem with the positioning of the channels? Osteopaths, the complete ones with a capital O can help restore this subtle movement that can prevent bacteria from creating breeding ground.

And now, sincerely thanking Dr Marc Rosen for posting the video, I wish you good viewing!

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