Resolution of Hearing Loss
After Chiropractic Manipulation
SOURCE: Topics in Integrative Health Care 2014 (Sep 30); 5 (3)
Melissa Ferranti, DC, Kimberly Keene, DC,
Chelsea Prothero, DC
Assistant Professor and Faculty Clinician
Palmer College of Chiropractic
Port Orange, FL, USA
Introduction: While chiropractic care is often associated with the treatment of musculoskeletal conditions, there are other, non-musculoskeletal conditions which may benefit from spinal manipulation (SM). This paper reports on the return of hearing in a woman treated with chiropractic adjustments after 8 months of lack of improvement through allopathic care. Pre and post audiograms were used for comparison.
Case Presentation: In this report, a 46 year old white female with neck pain, tinnitus, and hearing loss was treated with cervical spinal manipulation with positive results. A pre-treatment audiogram indicated low-frequency hearing loss, worse in the left ear.
Intervention and Outcomes: After being unsuccessfully medically treated over an 8 month period, she sought chiropractic care for the above symptoms. After 3 chiropractic adjustments, her hearing and associated symptoms were significantly improved. She received 12 treatments over a 4-month period. When asked to rate her hearing and fullness sensation in the ear on a Patient Specific Functional Scale with a 0-10 measure, where 0 is no deficits and 10 is completely impaired, initially she rated her symptoms as 7, and 5 months after the conclusion of care, her rating dropped to 1. Following treatment her audiogram was normal.
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Conclusion: This report details the condition and treatment of a female patient with cervicalgia and associated hearing loss (HL). Possible mechanisms for these results are discussed. This case along with others previously published,1-4 aid in the consideration of (SM) as a possible intervention for HL associated with cervicalgia.
From the Full-Text Article:
While there have been anecdotal accounts of resolution of hearing loss following spinal manipulation (SM), and several case studies published, [1-4] no randomized controlled trials (RCTs) are present in the scientific literature in which patients with hearing loss (HL) are randomly treated with SM, placebo, or other interventions.
In 2003-2004 the prevalence of speech-frequency HL in United States adults was estimated to be 16.1%.  HL, which can lead to functional decline and depression, is the most wide spread sensory impairment in aging people. It is the 3rd most common chronic condition in older Americans, after hypertension and arthritis.