How Can A Chiropractor Help With Asthma?
New Hope for Asthma Sufferers!
Asthma has increased dramatically in the last 10 years where up to 20 million North Americans now suffer with this condition. In Canada, 9 people die from asthma every week! Do you or your child suffer from shortness of breath, wheezing, coughing, rapid breathing or tightness in the chest? If so, you may be suffering from asthma.
Asthma is a lung disease involving heightened sensitivity to diverse stimuli and variable airway obstruction that is reversible. It is a controllable ailment, but can be seriously debilitating and even life threatening. Attacks can come suddenly or gradually, last for minutes or go on for days. Muscles around the airway contract, the lining of the airway swells due to inflammation, excess mucus is released and clogs the airway. Breathing becomes harder and harder.
Typically, medical treatment involves puffers and inhalers, which can be dangerous and provide only temporary effects. Those with moderate to severe asthma often have to restrict their activities and henceforth can’t live to their full potential.
Doctors of Chiropractic have found many cases of asthma can be caused wholly, or in part, by nerve pressure at the spine in the neck or mid-back regions. Misalignment of the vertebrae in these areas causes pressure or irritation to the nerve where it is infinitely more sensitive to it; at the nerve root where it originates. Furthermore abnormal mechanics of these same areas causes abnormal function of the muscles used in breathing and subsequently abnormal respiratory cycles. This, in turn, lowers the body’s ability to absorb oxygen so vital to just about all processes that go on in the body. Correction of this mis-alignment, or subluxation, allows optimum flow of nerve impulses to the lungs and airways and returns normal function to breathing muscles so oxygenation and optimal respiration can occur. This yields outstanding results for the vast majority or asthma sufferers.
Anyone suffering from asthma, bronchitis, emphysema or other chronic lung conditions needs to ensure their lungs and bronchi are receiving uninterrupted nerve communication from their spines. Chiropractic is dedicated to correcting spinal subluxations so that the nerves to the lungs (and other body parts) are able to send their life giving commands and are not interfered with. This may help avoid a lifetime of taking drugs.
Typical of chiropractic clinical studies is that of a 6-year-old boy who had asthma since age 3 and was using inhalers (Beclovert and Vertolin) up to three times a day. He received chiropractic care to his cervical (neck), thoracic (mid back) and lumbar (lower back) areas. He made significant progress almost immediately. He was finally able to run during soccer games and began to sleep more soundly. After a short time he hardly ever had bouts with mucous clogged nasal passages and his inhalant use stopped. (4) Another case history is that of a 34-month-old boy with asthma and enuresis (bed-wetting) who had not responded to medical care. More than 20 emergency hospital visits had taken place for the asthma attacks during a 12 month history. Three chiropractic adjustments were administered over an 11 day period and the asthma symptoms and enuresis ceased for more than 8 weeks. The asthma and enuresis reoccurred following a minor fall from a step ladder but disappeared after adjustments. After a two year follow-up the mother reported no recurrence of the asthma or the enuresis. (5)
In other studies (of adults with breathing disorders) lung volume was found greater after chiropractic adjustments. (6) As one famous researcher wrote: "In asthma the mechanical factor (spinal subluxation) may be so important that until the mechanics are put right the symptoms will persist."(7) One later study of 185 men and 87 women showed that spinal care improved respiratory function(8) and in another study of patients with chronic pulmonary disease, a classification that includes those with bronchitis and emphysema, over 90% reported improvement of symptoms after spinal care.(9) In another study researchers found spinal adjustments to give superior respiratory function and chest mobility when compared to conventional medical bronchodilators, expectorants and corticosteroids.(10)
47 asthma sufferers, aged 7 to 42, improved dramatically under chiropractic care and maintained that improvement for a two year follow-up period. The patients were seen between 14 and 44 times with most beginning care at 3 visits per week for the first 4 to 8 weeks. Improvement was based on the patient's subjective and objective symptoms as well as their use of asthma medication. Improvements ranged from 87 to 100%. (Amalu WC. Chiropractic management of 47 asthma cases. Today's Chiropractic, 29(6) Nov/Dec 2000.)
4.Garde R. Asthma and Chiropractic. Chiropractic Pediatrics. Dec. 1994;1(3).
5.Bachman TR, Lantz CA. Management of pediatric asthma and enuresis with probable traumatic etiology. Proc Nat Conf Chiropractic and Pediatrics (ICA). 1991;14 -22.
6.Masarsky CS & Weber M. Chiropractic and lung volumes: a retrospective study. ACA Journal. 1986;20:65-68.
7. Stoddard A. Manual of osteopathic practice (2nd ed.). London: Hutchinson and Co. 1983;16.
8.Melin G & Harajula R. Lung function in relation to thoracic spinal mobility and kyphosis. Scandanavian Journal of Rehabilitative Medicine. 1987;19;89-102.
9.Miller DO. Treatment of visceral disorders by manipulative therapy. 1975.
10. Howell A. The influence of osteopathic manipulative therapy in the management of chronic obstructive lung disease. JAOA. 1975; 74:757-760.