Chiropractic care that includes spinal adjustments, a balanced diet, regular exercise and other therapies can accentuate chiropractic and asthma treatment and keep symptoms in check
According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, approximately 25 million Americans suffer from chronic asthma.1 This figure represents roughly 1 in 13 Americans, or 8% of adults and 7% of children. This total number of chronic asthma cases breaks down to 20 million adults and five million children (for whom it is the leading chronic disease), a large opportunity for chiropractors to market how chiropractic and asthma treatment can help patients breathe easier.
Interestingly, chronic asthma is more common among adult women than adult men, yet is the opposite in pediatric patients.
Given this high prevalence for chronic asthma, DCs should not be surprised to see it present in a moderate number of both their adult and pediatric patients, particularly in spring and summer, when there is an upsurge in airborne allergens such as pollens. Many such patients have already failed to find relief from standard medical treatments.
What can DCs offer that may produce better results with fewer side effects and better safety profiles, particularly for children? Read further to find out more about how chiropractic and asthma treatment is helping patients in clinical studies.
Standard medical treatments for chronic asthma
Although there is currently no cure for asthma, it can be managed via medications, often in the form of inhalers. Unfortunately, inhalers often have unpleasant side effects, including hoarseness, coughing, a sore throat, and oral thrush.
Some patients may also be at greater risk for weight gain or developing pneumonia. Additionally, research has shown that adherence to inhaler compliance may be challenging for some pediatric patients.
One 2016 article from the journal ERJ Open Research reported that boys, children from larger households, and those who were older when diagnosed were at greater risk for noncompliance with using their asthma inhalers.2
Chiropractic and asthma treatment therapy
The connection between asthma and inflammation is well established. A 2010 article in the journal Mutation Research reviewed the current state of research on the airway’s inflammatory response to allergens, or other irritants in cases of chronic asthma.3
The proven ability of chiropractic adjustments to help reduce this inflammatory process makes it a useful treatment for patients with chronic asthma. A 2010 article from the Journal of the Canadian Chiropractic Association reported on a review of the literature on this topic, specifically including the use of spinal manipulation. In combining the results of several papers, the authors found evidence for the use of chiropractic care as an adjunctive therapy for chronic asthma and suggested that further research is warranted.4
However, proper chiropractic care for chronic asthma should include more than just spinal manipulation. Instead, research has shown that incorporating chiropractic adjustments with lifestyle modifications can produce better results.
A 2019 review article from the journal Breathe examined several lifestyle variables that may show positive effects on chronic asthma.5 Such variables included improving diet and exercise, as well as meditation, yoga and massage therapy. In particular, the authors suggested that obese patients with chronic asthma could see benefits in symptoms from losing anywhere from 5-10% of their body weight.
Chronic asthma can feel frustrating overwhelming and frustrating, particularly for children. Fortunately, proper adherence to a regular medication schedule, along with chiropractic care that includes spinal adjustments, a balanced diet, regular exercise, massage therapy and meditation can accentuate chiropractic and asthma treatment and keep symptoms in check for both adults and children.
- Asthma Facts and Figures. Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. Accessed Nov. 15, 2021.
- Chan AH, Stewart AW, Foster JM, et al. Factors associated with medication adherence in school-aged children with asthma. ERJ Open Research. 2016;2(1):00087-2015.
- Murdoch JR, Lloyd CM. Chronic inflammation and asthma. Mutation Research. 2010;690(1-2):24-39.
- Kaminskyj A, Frazier M, Johnstone K, Gleberzon BJ. Chiropractic care for patients with asthma: A systematic review of the literature. Journal of the Canadian Chiropractic Association. 2010;54(1):24-32.
- Stoodley I, Williams L, Thompson C, et al. Evidence for lifestyle interventions in asthma. Breathe. 2019;15(2):e50-e61.