Most people are familiar with asthma. It's a chronic condition that causes inflamed and narrow airways to the lungs, inhibiting breathing. For sufferers, asthma attacks are triggered by environmental factors like air pollutants and mold, stress, or a related illness. A severe attack can be fatal.
What you might not realize is how prevalent asthma is. Approximately 25 million people in the U.S. have asthma – one out of every 13 people! Of those sufferers, 5.1 million are under the age of 18. It's one of the leading chronic diseases for children.
Signs you might have asthma
- shortness of breath
- chest tightness
Traditional treatments for asthma and their risks
A traditional approach to treating asthma is to avoid triggers, including exercise, pollen, dust, and specific food allergens. Aside from the impact of less activity on a healthy lifestyle, most environmental triggers are outside of our control. Chronic sufferers are prescribed an inhaled or oral medication to help keep their airways open during an inevitable attack. The long-term use of these steroidal drugs can have significant side effects. The most common medications and their side effects are:
- Mood changes
- Hair loss
- Easy bruising
- Increased risk of high blood pressure and diabetes
- Suppression of the adrenal glands
- Muscle weakness
- Weight gain
Leukotriene inhibitors are an oral medication for exercise-induced asthma and for children who cannot use inhalers.
- Sore throat
- Nasal congestion, including runny nose, itching, and sneezing
Theophylline is taken to prevent wheezing, shortness of breath, and chest tightness.
- Gastritis, including indigestion, nausea, and vomiting
- Trouble sleeping
- Increased urination
A balanced approach to managing asthma with alternative care
A recent study found that 84 percent of people with asthma manage their condition using a mix of traditional and complementary therapies.
Complementary and alternative medicine use amongst adult asthmatics ranges from four percent to 79 percent of the total care. For children, it ranges from 33 percent to 89 percent.
Chiropractic care is the most popular choice.
Chiropractors believe there is a strong connection between asthma and misaligned vertebrae (subluxations). A Journal of Vertebral Subluxation Research Report (Vol. 1 No. 4) showed proper alignment could reduce the need for medications, improve breathing, and result in fewer asthma attacks.
In a study conducted by the Journal of Orthopedic Surgery, chiropractic care was found to "alleviate bronchial asthma and allergies by improving neurology causes by chronically narrowed intervertebral foraminae from the 2nd to 4th and the 8th to the 10th thoracic vertebrae." In the study, 70 percent of the 3,013 patients with bronchial asthma saw improvements after treatment.
Several studies on applying chiropractic adjustment to children with asthma found even greater success. In one, after only three months of combining chiropractic spinal realignment with traditional approaches, the children rated their quality of life substantially higher and their asthma severity substantially lower.
Treating the cause, not the symptom
At True Potential Chiropractic, we treat the whole person. With proper spinal alignment, your immune and nervous systems can do the work necessary to alleviate symptomatic responses to dis-ease and distress.
Misalignments in the upper thoracic area affect lung function and can lead to asthmatic conditions. Chiropractic adjustments reduce nerve interference so the lungs can work properly, potentially reducing reliance on prescription medications and steroids.
Chiropractic care may help you find natural relief if you have asthma.