Asthma and Chiropractic Care for Children
Asthma is a major medical problem for children and adults more so than ever before. In the last twenty years asthma has more than doubled and millions suffer from it. Asthma is a chronic lung disease which is responsible for the inflammation and narrowing of the airways. The most common symptoms a child with asthma will display are wheezing, tightness in the chest, coughing and shortness of breath. This inability to breathe freely can be frightening for a child and for the parent who has to help. There are a wide range of reasons for this uptick in asthma diagnosis’s including heredity and environmental factors.
A diagnosis of asthma can not only be scary for a family, but costly as well. Typically, medical treatments involve inhalers, nebulizers, steroids, and other medications. Even with insurance, none of these options are cheap. The cost is also one that accrues over time due to the fact that these medical treatments only treat the symptoms and do not cure asthma. For some children, these expensive treatments must be used over the course of a lifetime.
Aside from the astounding cost factors, there are other issues with using these medical treatments alone to treat childhood asthma. Prolonged steroid treatment and other medications for children can have side effects that many families would rather avoid. Some of the more common side effects for some asthma medications include sleep disruption and hyperactivity.
For some cases, going to a chiropractor may provide a safe, natural and drug free approach that works to treat asthma in children. A chiropractor can help determine if subluxation, which is a misalignment of the bones in the spine which irritates nerves, is the cause of the child’s asthma. The lungs and diaphragm are responsible for breathing and their ability to function correctly is controlled by the nervous system. If there is irritation or interference of the nervous system, the lungs simply can’t function optimally. Chiropractic adjustments can alleviate any pressure or stress that the nervous system is under in most cases. Once this is relieved, the lungs are fully capable of doing their job and incidents of asthma can be reduced if not eliminated altogether.
Chiropractic care which results in more efficiency of the nervous system overall also boosts the natural workings of the immune system and can help a child maintain consistent good health. This is particularly important for children who have asthma as they are more prone to attacks when they have a cold or something more serious such as a respiratory infection.
While chiropractic care cannot end all incidents of childhood asthma, regular adjustments have provided some children with a gradual improvement in their asthma. There have been a number of studies conducted in the past few years which examine the effectiveness of the chiropractic adjustment as an alternative asthma treatment and the results have been encouraging. One study of children 6 to 17 with asthma who had a three month course of chiropractic care in conjunction with medical care rated their quality of life as higher and also experienced less severe episodes of asthma attacks. There have also been cases in which children have been able to stop all medications and experience few if any attacks after a regimen of chiropractic care.
A pediatric chiropractor may be able to provide a safer and more natural way to deal with childhood asthma. Even if they are not able to fully eliminate the attacks, a reduction in severity and frequency without potentially harmful medications is certainly an alternative worth exploring for any child afflicted with asthma.
In my own practice, I have seen children suffering with asthma, get great relief with chiropractic care. For some of them, it did reduce the frequency and severity and in others it completely eliminated the attacks. I have found the sooner they get chiropractic treatment, the better results we achieve. They can begin care as early as infancy.
Some Abstracts from research on this subject:
Chiropractic Care of a Pediatric Patient with Asthma, Allergies, Chronic Colds & Vertebral SubluxationJoel Alcantara, BSc, D.C.; Bio Laura Van Roo, D.C. Bio and Rosemary E. Oman, Msc, FASBE, DC Bio Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health – Chiropractic ~ Volume 2009 ~ Issue 3 ~ Pages 1-7
Management of Pediatric Asthma & Enuresis with Probable Traumatic Etiology
By Trent Bachman, D.C. and Charles Lantz, D.C., PhD.
The chiropractic management of asthma and enuresis of traumatic etiology in a two-year, ten-month-old male child. In May 1987 at the age of 22 months, the child was medically examined and subsequently diagnosed with asthma. In an attempt to control the asthmatic symptoms, two medications were prescribed, Metaproterenal Syrup and Theodore Sprinkle. On May 20, 1988, the child was seen for chiropractic examination and evaluation and, from that date to August 3, 1991, the child received 28 chiropractic adjustive/manipulative treatments. Dramatic improvement of asthma and enuresis followed chiropractic management. The application of Gonstead adjustive/manipulative therapy and the rationale for the correction of vertebral subluxation complex in the case of childhood asthma and enuresis are discussed.
(Reprint available in Pediatric Articles Volumes I, II & III)
By Peter Fysh, D.C.