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Asthma: leaving you breathless

Published:Monday | November 19, 2012 | 12:00 AM
Dr Neil Gardner

Dr Neil Gardner, Contributor

In the United States, one of the most popular medications that children take is for the treatment of asthma. Obviously, it is a very important health issue that needs our attention.

It has long been observed that people with asthma have had their symptoms either significantly improve or go into complete remission under chiropractic care. Studies conducted in the past 20 years give us some insight.

Why You Wheeze

Asthma is defined as a chronic inflammatory disorder of the airways. It is associated with airway hyper-responsiveness that leads to recurrent episodes of wheezing, breathlessness, chest tightness and coughing particularly at night or in the early morning.

Breathing starts at the nose and mouth. You inhale air into your nose or mouth, and it travels down the back of your throat and into your windpipe, or trachea into the lungs. Cilia are found along your air passages and move in a sweeping motion to keep the air passages clean. The airways are also lined with cells that secrete mucus and together with the cilia they prevent particles from going into the lungs.

When there is excess secretion of mucus or enlargement of the cells that line the passage, it makes breathing difficult and may result in respiratory problems such as asthma.

Role of the Nervous System

Respiration is under the control of the autonomic nervous system, including the functions of the cells that line the airways. Nervous system interference may result in the function of these cells being altered. The nerves that control these functions exit the spine in the cervical and thoracic regions of the spine, that is, the neck and upper back respectively.

Falls, accidents or trauma, may result in problems in the cervical spine and/or thoracic spine, which may lead to respiratory problems including asthma. Neck trauma, which is often seen during childbirth, may explain why some newborns have respiratory issues, seemingly from birth. If you had a difficult delivery or if you have ever suffered a fall or accident and are experiencing any respiratory problems, it may be useful to visit your family chiropractor to have your spine assessed.

Many of the popular medications increase the risk of serious respiratory issues and may even increase the likelihood of having an attack therefore trying a conservative approach that is non-medicinal may be the best thing to do.

Neil Gardner, DC, DACNB, Diplomate, American Chiropractic Neurology Board, Chiropractic Neurologist, Gardner Chiropractic & Neurology Ltd. Website: Tel: 876-978-1050-1/876-622-9241/214-432-5464 (from the USA).