Around 1 in 13 people in the United States have asthma, or around 25 million people. When it comes to children under the age of 18, around 1 in 10 have been diagnosed with asthma. This condition results in over 3000 deaths annually, over 13 million missed days of school or work, and over $80 billion in annual medical costs. Asthma is the top reason children miss school and it can cause limited activity levels and severe issues both in the short- and long-term.
Causes and Symptoms of Asthma
Asthma, by definition, is a narrowing and swelling of the airways, resulting in difficulty breathing, coughing, shortness of breath, and more. Asthma can range from minor to very severe, from a slight nuisance to a life-threatening condition.
For some people, asthma symptoms are triggered by airborne factors, like allergies, chemical fumes, gasses, or pollution. For others, asthma attacks can be brought on by physical activity.
The actual medical cause of asthma is not something people often discuss. Why is it that some people have asthma and others don’t? While we can pinpoint the triggers that lead to asthma symptoms and attacks, what is it that actually makes the airways narrow in those situations?
Immune Function in Asthmatics
The root cause of asthma comes down to the immune system. While everyone would agree that breathing in harmful fumes or chemicals isn’t great for the body, some people’s immune responses kick into high gear when smelling something like that, creating breathing problems and asthmatic responses. The immune system essentially identifies the trigger—whatever it is—as harmful and basically causes the body to respond with an extreme reaction as a protective measure. Unfortunately, however, this extreme response can be even more harmful than the trigger, so it’s important to manage asthma well and be prepared for severe asthma symptoms once diagnosed.
How Can Chiropractic Help with Asthma?
You may be surprised to hear this, but chiropractic care can help a great deal with asthma! Since asthma is primarily an immune response, and the immune system is connected to the spine, chiropractors can be extremely helpful with this condition. Chiropractors focus on the spine, which houses the spinal cord. The spinal cord is the pathway on which all the messages from the brain travel, directing the body on how to function and keeping the various systems running well. When the spine has a misalignment, meaning that one or more vertebra is slightly twisted or shifted out of place, it interrupts the messages from the brain, leading to dysfunction. Studies have found that almost everyone with asthma has at least one spinal misalignment, if not multiple. When these are corrected, the body is able to improve its immune response and asthma attacks are reduced significantly in both frequency and severity. It is important to note that inhalers are a necessary part of asthma management for most asthmatics, and at no point should you discontinue the use of an inhaler without a recommendation from your primary doctor.
Dr. Thomas Keogh and the team at Bare Chiropractic are experts in optimizing health with neurologically-based chiropractic care. To learn more about how Dr. Thomas can help you with your asthma symptoms and improve your overall health, contact Bare Chiropractic today and schedule your consultation.
Bronfort G, Evans RL, Kubic P, Filkin P. (2001). Chronic pediatric asthma and chiropractic spinal manipulation: a prospective clinical series and randomized clinical pilot study. J Manipulative Physiol Ther. 6.369-77. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/11514813/