Tag Archives: healthy living

Rockford Chiropractor tackles the Mysterious Ear Infection

IMG_9482Why do ear infections occur?  Why do kids get these damn infections over and over again?  According to the American Academy of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery (medical doctors who work on sinuses, ears and throats) Otitis Media (ear infections) happen in 62% (some articles say it is closer to 80% of kids and accounts for 25 million office visits in the US alone with direct costs at nearly 3 BILLION dollars.  Add lost wages from parents missing work to take their kids to the appointment and those costs rise to 6 BILLION dollars!  THIS IS A BIG PROBLEM!

First comes the pain, then screaming, tugging on the ears, complaining, and of course lots of sleepless nights that parents have to endure.  Ear infections suck!  Parents who try to do the best that they can with the information that they have, run for the pediatrician.  The pediatrician checks the kid’s ears and sure enough, it’s an ear infection.  He or she says that the Eustachian tubes in your kid’s ears are horizontal when they’re born and are don’t allow for proper drainage of fluid in the ears.  Over time, those tubes angle down a little more and drain better. What’s the treatment? The first medical intervention is antibiotics.  The antibiotics kill the bacteria and the inflammation reduces and the kid gets better…or so it seems.  Suddenly, a couple weeks later, the ear infection is back.  Why?

To start, it has been estimated that 70% of ear infections are VIRAL not bacterial infections and the antibiotics have no effect on them whatsoever.  Viral infections resolve on their own after a couple of days.  Sadly, medical science has known this for the last 30 years according to medical research.  So why are they still treating ear infections this way?  It’s one of only two treatments options that a pediatrician has and more often than not, parents demand them.  When the antibiotics fail, they move onto putting tubes in the kids ears which will set you or your insurance company back (if you can afford insurance) somewhere between $2500 and $3500 dollars!  Often, the tubes fall out as the kid grows and they have to do another surgery to put them back in.  It is not uncommon for this to happen two to eight times.  Are you fricken kidding me?  That’s the best we have as far as options go?  Good news, there is another option.  But first, you have to understand how an ear infection occurs.

Take your right hand and with your thumb and all your fingers, make an “O” to represent the Eustachian tube inside an ear.  There is a muscle called the Tensor Villi Palitini (say it with an Italian accent and it sounds better) that holds that tube open or closed.  When it’s functioning well, fluids can move through the tube with ease and no blockages occur.  When that muscle is contracted or spasming (make a fist with your right hand), the tube closes and stays shut which doesn’t allow for fluid to drain like it is supposed to and just like a stagnant puddle in the summer-time, bugs and bacteria start to accumulate.

Why does the muscle go into spasm in the first place?  The nerves supplying that little muscle come out behind the top 4 bones in the neck.  When misalignment of even one of those bones happen whether it be through the trauma of a C-section, forceps delivery, natural delivery, or childhood falls and spills, the tension, twisting, or stretching of that nerve cause the muscle to spasm.  There is no antibiotic or tube that will take the pressure off of that nerve, only a simple, safe and effective chiropractic adjustment can do the job.  Yes kids can and do get adjusted every day in my office and guess what…they rarely get an ear infection.  It’s awesome!  No drugs, no surgeries, no pain and no missed work for mom or dad!

You could stick with what hasn’t been working for the last 30 years and keep doing what “everybody else does.”  Or, just maybe, you could try something different.  Something that won’t ruin your child’s gut by killing all of the necessary bacteria in it, thus lowering their immune system (70% of you immune system is in your gut), and rendering them MORE susceptible to MORE ear infections as well as other infections.  You could save yourself the $2500-$3500 surgeries and maybe take a family vacation with that saved money.  You could have a truly health child versus one that is just not sick.  It is your choice, but now you know there is another option that works over and over again without the drugs and side-effects.  Ear infections are a serious thing… Check out http://wyattleamonfoundation.org

(You can stop making a fist now)

Health & Happiness,

Dr. Mik

Are you up for a CHALLENGE this Summer?

 It’s spring time!  Summer is right around the corner.  The weather is improving and more and more people are venturing outdoors after a long winter hibernation.  What else comes with summer time?  Almost every philanthropy group has some type of 5k run/walk nearly every weekend. 

Along with the 5k’s, 10k’s, half and full marathons, and  triathalons are a growing trend of new, and more adventurous ways to torture yourself all while raising money for a good cause.  They have names like: The Tough Mudder, The Warrior Dash, The Spartan Race, GR 5k Mud Run, Muddy Buddy, and The Down and Dirty 5k just to name a few.

Last weekend, I completed (and survived) the MI/OH Tough Mudder, which was a 12-mile obstacle-course through an old Quarry in Amherst, OH.  Participants from across the country were hit with everything from treacherous terrain, lots of mud, freezing cold water, fire, and even electric shocks while crawling through muddy water.  Let’s just say it was challenging and I have the video and bruises to prove it.

People were spraining ankles, breaking ribs, and wrists, and running on the verge of hypothermia, all to benefit the Wounded Warrior project, which aids wounded Veterans.  One thing that I didn’t expect to see was all of the smiles and fun that people were having in the dreadful conditions that we were running in.

About half way through the race, as I was pulling a fellow mudder over an obstacle, I noticed something peculiar as he came out of the muddy water.  The guy only had one leg!  Just as soon as I pulled him up, he turned around, lowered his artificial limb to the guy behind him and pulled the guy up! 

There I was, freezing cold, sore everything, only half way through this hellacious race, thinking about the pain I was feeling and how far I had left to go and here is one of our Veterans, who gave his leg for our country, completely covered in mud, running this crazy race right next to me on ONE LEG!  That was a turning point for me…  I had a different feeling wash over me.  I no longer felt the pain, I couldn’t complain anymore, I just started smiling and continued on my muddy way.

Later in the course, I encountered a guy with one arm.  He sprinted up a 20 foot quarter-pipe and was able to latch onto someone’s hand and pulled himself up with ONE ARM onto the platform!  Not only was it an amazing feat of strength, but for the people watching, it was motivation for them to get to the top of that obstacle. 

One of my own teammates lost her grip on an obstacle, fell, and broke 2 of her ribs as she hit the platform on her way down.  Guess what…she ran over 5 miles afterwards and still completed the race. (She’s one Tough Mudder)

At one point, my teammates and I, encountered 3 grandmothers trying to navigate a 12 foot wall, so myself and two of my teammates helped push the sweet old ladies over the wall.   They were voiced their thanks and went on their merry way, smiling the whole time.  I couldn’t believe the variety of people that we saw along the course, from 18 years old to people well into their sixties!

The bottom line is, there are a TON of challenges waiting for you out there.  It doesn’t matter your age, athletic ability, or motivation, just pick one, or two, or three this summer and challenge yourself to do something proactive with your health and help out a great cause.  Even if you just walk, you are still moving in the right direction.  You may amaze yourself with what your body and mind can actually do!

Check out the local events list in your area to see what’s available.  You’ll feel better about yourself and also lend a hand to a cause that can always use more support.  If you can’t run or walk, volunteer to help out with whatever you can do.  Either way, you will be helping others as well as helping yourself take a more proactive role in leading a healthier lifestyle.

See you in the Mud!

Dr. Mik