FROM: Chiropr J Aust 2002 (Mar); 32 (1): 14–26
Allan G.J. Terrett
The chiropractic profession was founded in 1895 following the observation by Dr Daniel David Palmer of improved hearing in Harvey Lillard after spinal manipulation therapy (SMT). The claim that hearing can be improved following SMT has been scoffed at as physiologically impossible, but a review of the medical and chiropractic literature suggests that hearing deficits may be associated with spinal joint motion restriction, spondyloarthrosis, irritation of the sympathetic nervous system, decreased cervico-cerebral circulation and/or decrease in tinnitus. Search of the literature indicates that vertebrogenic hearing disorders are beginning to be investigated by medical researchers. Deafness can be a very distressing complaint leading to depression and patient difficulties in social, employment and educational situations. In many cases of deafness, no definite cause can be found following extensive medical investigations. It is proposed that some cases may benefit from SMT. Further research is needed to determine the role of SMT in the treatment of vertebrogenic hearing deficits.