Asthma and Emphysema

Anyone with a chronic lung condition like asthma or emphysema needs to ensure their lungs and bronchi are receiving uninterrupted nerve communication. 


Asthmatic attacks may be trigged by allergic reactions, emotional stress, physical exertion, or irritants like cigarette smoke. During an attack, the bronchioles become swollen, go into spasm, and fill with mucus causing asthmatics to struggle for every breath, literally gasping and wheezing for life. In some instances, the wheezing, gasping, and struggling go on continuously and long-time sufferers may end up developing a barrel chest. In the most dangerous form of asthma, status asthmatics, the attacks last for days and can even result in death.

Bronchitis & Emphysema

Bronchitis causes the lining of bronchial tubes, which carry air to and from the lungs, to inflame, which causes thickened mucus and shortness of breath. With the most common cause of bronchitis being smoking cigarettes, the condition is sometimes seen among the children of smokers, even being referred to as "smoker's cough." 

Emphysema is usually associated with long-term smoking--many bronchioles are blocked and the lung itself is destroyed. With less lung tissue, the blood receives less oxygen, causing high blood pressure and heart trouble. People with chronic emphysema can suffer for years from severe "air hunger" (hypoxia) causing lethargy, muscle weakness, impairment of mental functions, and in severe cases, a slow death.

The Standard Medical Approach

Unfortunately, medicine offers no cure for asthma, bronchitis, or emphysema. Patients are told to avoid physical or emotional irritants and are given temporary relief with cortisone, inhaled corticosteroids, or bronchodilators that prevent or reduce swelling inside the bronchi. However, these drugs cause severe side effects and heavy usage of common asthma drugs have been linked to a greater risk of dying from the disease.

For example, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) received reports of life-threatening respiratory problems and deaths in Serevent™ users within the first six months of its approval in 1994. A black-box warning-- the strongest type of drug warning-- was added to Serevent's labels in 2003 and was also given to Advair™, another asthma drug. In December 2008, the FDA recommended that Serevent and Foradil™, another asthma drug, be taken off the market because of increased risk of severe asthmatic episodes and death from use. 

Why is asthma now the most common chronic condition in children? It appears that the underlying causes are not fully understood, however developing an overly sensitive immune system seems to play a role.  Some factors involved may be inherited traits, some types of airway infections at a young age, and exposure to environmental factors.  Research is increasingly revealing that asthma is exceedingly rare or non-existent in non-vaccinated children.

The Chiropractic Approach

For over a hundred years, sufferers of all types of respiratory conditions have sung the praises of chiropractic care. A typical cause history is that of a six-year-old girl with three years of uncontrolled asthma, She was taking a number of prescription drugs to control her symptoms. The patient experienced instant reduction in cough as reported by her mother. In 30 days, no medication was being used. Upon subsequent visits to the pediatrician, the patient also demonstrated a marked increase in lung volume.

Another case is that of an eight-year-old diagnosed with asthma at age five who was using Beclovent™ and Albuterol™ one to three times per day. After eight chiropractic adjustments over period of 22 weeks, the child had stopped inhaler use, could run with without gasping, and was free of asthmatic attacks without medication.

Research Studies

An analysis of 650 children showed favorable response to chiropractic care for those suffering from asthma.

In a study of 81 children, 73 showed significant improvement after chiropractic sessions; 25 of them voluntarily decreased their medication by an average of 66.5% and 24 had significantly decreased incidences of attacks by an average of 44.9%.

Lung volume has been reported to increase after chiropractic adjustments and one study of 185 men and 87 women showed improved respiratory function after spinal care. 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. Researchers have found spinal care to be superior to conventional medical bronchodilators, expectorants, and corticosteroids.

In Conclusion

Anyone with asthma, bronchitis, emphysema, or other chronic lung conditions need to ensure their lungs and bronchi are receiving uninterrupted nerve communication. Chiropractic is a healing art dedicated to keeping the nerve passages in the body open and unobstructed. This will help the entire body, including the lungs, bronchi, and other structures of the respiratory system, heal and function at its best.


Concerned about Asthma and Emphysema? Contact The Chiropractic Center at Styertowne

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Erik McNair