Chiropractic Can Help Asthma
Asthma is a chronic condition which can affect sufferers’ ability to breathe easily. The airways in the lungs consist of tubes that carry air in and out of the body. In someone with the condition, their airways may occasionally become inflamed and narrowed. This restriction of the airways makes it difficult to breathe.
There is no cure for asthma. Sufferers are offered an action plan to manage the symptoms, which often include monitoring episodes, avoiding triggers, and using medication. While there are a variety of medicines available to asthma sufferers, the most common involve anti-inflammatory drugs that reduce swelling and tightening in the airways, such as inhaled corticosteroids.
Inhaled corticosteroids must be used long-term and come with side effects, such as delayed growth in children, mouth and throat irritation, and oral yeast infections. There is, however, another option available that can reduce asthma symptoms by addressing the underlying issue that causes the attacks.
What Causes Asthma?
Asthma is a common condition that affects all age groups and typically starts in childhood. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 1 in 13 people in the United States has asthma.
Sometimes asthma attacks are triggered by certain actions or environmental causes, like cold air, exercise, or viral infections. Allergens are another major trigger for asthma and include:
- Grass pollen
- Tree pollen
- Pollen from weeds
- Pet dander
- Dust mites
Irritants in the Air
- Chemical fumes
- Strong odors
It is unclear what the actual cause of asthma is, although it may have something to do with genetics, since it does tend to run in families. Environmental factors may also be involved. Contact with allergens, inhaling certain irritants, or exposure to viral or respiratory infections as an infant or in early childhood could affect the development of still-maturing lungs.
What Causes Other Breathing Issues?
Breathing problems come in a variety of forms and are often caused by stress. Rapid, shallow breathing can put stress on the muscles that support breathing, including those in the ribs, upper chest, and neck.
In most cases, breathing issues are related to and connected with other health issues, such as:
- Back pain
- Neck pain
- Poor digestion
- Tension headaches
Breathing issues could be caused by incorrect breathing, subluxations in the back, or the undue interruption of your spinal nerve signals.
To determine if you’re breathing correctly, lie on a flat surface, such as the floor, and put one hand on your chest and one on your stomach. Proper breathing involves using the diaphragm muscle, which lies between your lungs and abdomen. Take a deep breath, filling your lungs completely. If the hand on your stomach moved out, then you’re breathing correctly.
Can a Chiropractic Adjustment Help Asthma?
Asthma sufferers and those experiencing other breathing issues may experience some relief from symptoms by visiting their chiropractor. While chiropractic cannot treat asthma directly, it can help patients who receive regular care.
Most individuals with asthma rely on drugs from an inhaler, which work well to reduce symptoms. However, inhalers ignore the underlying problems associated with asthma. This is where chiropractic steps in.
Asthma is a result of nervous system disturbances. Research shows that there is a potential link between the spinal column, the nervous system, and the respiratory system, which explains why most chiropractic patients with asthma report improved breathing following chiropractic treatments.
How Does Chiropractic Treatment for Asthma Work?
Your body uses the diaphragm to breathe. Nerves that control your breathing leave your brain and exit the spinal cord. If you experience spinal problems in this area, it can have a major effect on the nerve supply to your diaphragm.
Your chiropractor can reduce or remove spinal misalignments in the spine. This process can restore proper nervous system functioning to the diaphragm and lungs, allowing for improved breathing.
Chiropractors can open the airways in the lungs by adjusting the spine and releasing muscle tension in the upper chest and neck. Once the airways are open, breathing issues subside and it is easier for air to flow in and out of the lungs.
Chiropractic treatment that reduces or repairs spinal misalignments can also restore proper nerve function, enabling the diaphragm to properly work as intended. The Journal of Vertebral Subluxation Research revealed in a two-month study that of 81 children receiving chiropractic treatment, 45 percent noticed a decrease in the number of asthma attacks, while 31 percent voluntarily decreased their asthma medication.
Proper chiropractic care improves the body’s ability to heal itself, thereby improving a variety of conditions, including asthma.
If you’d like to see if regular visits to your chiropractor can help you with your breathing issues, there’s no time like the present to schedule a chiropractic appointment online or call us today.
This article is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for in-person advice or care from a medical professional.