You guys adjust Ears?!

What is an Ear Adjustment???

I HEAR you... ear adjustments SOUND crazy and weird!  Well LISTEN UP, just like many other areas in the body other than0020056001637088630.jpg the spine, chiropractors are trained and specialize in helping with mobility and function, including the ears!   Joints such as the vertebrae in the spine, can be subluxated (misaligned) in up to 12 different directions, and need to be aligned properly. This is much of the reason why a chiropractor is not just a "bone cruncher" or "joint popper", but they adjust the spine or joint with a very specific direction and force.   On the other hand, the outer ear and bones of the inner ear do not necessarily get "misaligned", but more lack proper motion that can be adjusted with an "ear adjustment".  These are considered "non-specific" adjustments, since the contact point of the adjustment does not have a direct relationship with the bones of the ear.  This adjustment is more of a mobilization technique that helps the bones and soft tissue together move more freely.

How is an ear adjustment performed?

The typical ear adjustment is performed by a "J" hook adjustment, where the bottom of the ear lobe is held with the physician's thumb and index finger while pulling down and out in a quick, scooping motion.  There can actually be quite a loud "pop" or "crackling" sound while performing an ear adjustment.

Is an ear adjustment the same as adjustments to the spine or extremities?

Ear adjustments are somewhat different than adjusting other joints in the body, mainly due to the nature of the ear tissues, being that they are different than a typical osseous (bone) joint.  The ear adjustment is a non-specific adjustment, or mobilization technique, that can release pressure on the inner and middle ear. 

How it works!

There are many thoughts on how the ear adjustment works, many of them relate the pressure release between the inner and outer ear by means of the ear canal, or Eustachian tube (the tube that connects the outer ear to the back ofInner ear eustachian tube labeled diagram. ear adjustment. the throat).  This is similar to how a yawn can open up the ears when they feel plugged. In this case a bit more force is used, which can make an adjustment much more effective.  Other thoughts involve the inner ear bones, or ossicles (Malleus, Incas, and Stapes) that may be shifted and possibly reoriented to a healthier position from the adjustment. 

This is a not well researched treatment, but can have incredible effects and symptom relief on conditions such as ear aches, ear pressure, congestion, vertigo and dizziness, and ear infections in both kids and adults.  The onset of these conditions can vary from being viral or bacterial infections to pressure changes in the ear from activities like under water activities, flying in an airplane, and sometimes even ear trauma.  

More important than the mechanism of action from the ear adjustment, is the relief that patients experience! Even if we don't know exactly why, the ear adjustment seems to WORK!

Who needs their ears adjusted?

Some of the best symptom relief that we see at our office involve treating ear infections in babies and kids, in which we have seen incredible and consistent results.  Babies and kids that have known ear infections, ear aches, or that you seeChild with ear infection crying. pulling or rubbing their ears tend to be great candidates for this adjustment.  This is also true in adults with ear aches or ear infections, however they are not as common as they are in kids. Adults suffering from seasonal allergies are much more commonly seen and adjusted in this way. (Check out this article on allergies!) Also, patients that feel pressure in their ear from being in water such as swimming can have great results.   We also see a lot of relief in vertigo patients that have tried everything from months of physical therapy, to treatments such as the Epley's maneuver or vestibular rehabilitation.

So now what?

There's a good chance that you are coming across this blog because you are curious about whether or not chiropractic, or an ear adjustment could help you or someone you know with a specific condition.  We can tell you that our results have been great, and we have seen some incredible changes from ear adjustments in our patients, and would recommend you consult with and get checked out by one of our doctors at Gallatin Valley Chiropractic to see if it is a good treatment option for you!

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