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    Chiropractic care for chronic ear infections?

    The following is from a CBS flagship station in Pittsburgh - KDKA. There are so many errors of ommission and commission in this piece that we have written a letter of protest that will be posted here soon. It ran on April 2, 2001.

    Children's ear infections account for many trips to the pediatrician, but some research shows that antibiotics may have no more effect than a placebo.

    Since ear tubes require general anesthesia and can fall out, they're not necessarily an ideal solution.

    "My oldest daughter, she had tubes in her ears at 6-months and it was constant. It seemed like every day almost -- for a while there, she had ear infections."
    -- Jason Weber, Father

    Though he was skeptical of a new treatment for chronic ear infections, Jason Weber turned to a chiropractor to help clear up both of his daughters' chronic ear problems.

    Chiropractor Dr. Richard Rafferty began giving them adjustments for their ear problems. Using an instrument called an "activator," Dr. Rafferty delivers a direct, light tap at just the right spot.
    Dr. Richard Rafferty
    "There is an alternative," explains Dr. Rafferty, "that you can take a more natural approach that gets right to the cause."

    Though parents are skeptical at first, Weber says he can't argue with the results. "We haven't had an antibiotic for either of them for like 2-months now," Weber adds, "that's very, very unusual."

    Chiropractors believe they can prevent recurrent ear infections by correcting misalignments, and allowing normal fluid drainage from the middle ear. That fluid is where bacteria grows.

    "Generally it takes between 12 and about 18 adjustments in about the period of a month -- maybe two months at the most -- and the problem is corrected," assures Rafferty.

    Rafferty sees between 50 and 100 children each week.

    Pediatrician Dr. Bernie Simons says he's referred many of his patients -- including his own daughter.

    "Every parent that I've sent to Dr. Rafferty with their child has come back thrilled."
    -- Dr. Bernie Simons, Pediatrician

    While he's comfortable with the recommendations, Simons says not all doctors feel the same way. "I think a lot of medical doctors are not exposed to it so they don't know whether or not it works."

    Before heading to the chiropractor with your child, though, it's important to first consult your pediatrician. Also, not all chiropractors have the specialized training to work with children.

    © 2001, CBS Worldwide Inc. & CBS Mass Media Corporation,
    All Rights Reserved.

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