Chiropractors cannot claim to cure ear infections

ear infection

In two judgments rendered in January, the Disciplinary Board of the College of Chiropractors of Quebec confirms that its members cannot claim to cure ear infections in children.

“Our members can only deal with diagnoses related to neuro-musculoskeletal conditions. As, for example, tendonitis or carpal tunnel problems. Ear infections do not belong,” summarizes the syndicates of the College of Chiropractors, Dr. Chantal Pinard.

The Disciplinary Board has examined the records of two chiropractors in the region of Quebec, who in 2013 had published advertisements in which they claimed to be able to intervene in the treatment of ear infections.

Chiropractors Jean-François Pépin and Rosalie Lemay have published on their website a list of “seven steps to prevent ear infections in children ‘otitis’.”

In these steps, we read that “the only way for the liquid to be discharged from the ear then by the action of a small muscle called the stylopharyngien” that “works through the nerve supply from the first two cervical vertebrae. These words “left mistakenly believe that the problem comes from the first two cervical vertebrae,” it said in the judgment.

Mislead the public into mistake

Both chiropractors also claimed on their website that “Chiropractic is a natural approach to deal with ear infections” and that studies “show that chiropractic adjustments may boost the immune system and away from diseases such as OMA (otitis media acute), “two claims which are” not based on principles recognized by the chiropractic science “and are” likely to mislead the public mistake, “it said in the judgment of the Disciplinary Board.

Also in this advertisement, chiropractors had voted on antibiotics and consumption of dairy products for the treatment of ear infections in children, “subjects which do not fall within the generally recognized competence of chiropractors.”

It is the Association Neck Ear, Nose and Throat Surgery and Quebec who had asked the College of Chiropractors to intervene in this matter.

The President of the Association, Dr. Janik Sarrazin, welcomes the decision of the Disciplinary Board. “This is good news for public protection, he said. For nothing in the literature comes not bear the claim that chiropractic treatment can treat otitis,” he said.

Dr. Sarrazin says that 80% of ear infections in children “heal themselves, even if we do nothing.” “You can give Tylenol or Advil. Or analgesics to relieve drops,” he says. Studies have also shown that antibiotics can help.

Both chiropractors have pleaded guilty to four charges brought against them. They said they had been “misled by an article in Le Journal de Montreal and written by the president of the Association of Chiropractors of Quebec.”

But for the Disciplinary Board, “regardless of the explanations,” the respondents “duty to inform”. Since they quickly admitted their wrongs and that was their first offense, simple reprimands were made against them.


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