Not many of our patients here at Vital Wellness Center have been able to guess which condition causes more than 2 million visits to the Emergency Room each year. The answer is asthma, and this chronic condition causes a great deal of fear among local parents and their children. Our experienced chiropractor for asthma, Dr. David Foss, has created the following overview of asthma and the natural relief for asthma our patients can find when they visit us
What Is Asthma?
Asthma is a chronic disease of the lungs in which the airways periodically become inflamed. This often occurs when a triggering event occurs, such as inhaling pollen, exposure to cold air, or catching a virus. At times, some of the muscles around the airways tighten, and excess phlegm is produced to counteract the irritation in the airways. Since the air must overcome additional resistance, asthma makes exhaling much more difficult. It doesn’t affect the ability to inhale as much.
Asthma is not a curable condition. Here at Vital Wellness Center, our chiropractor for asthma has helped many children and adults with this condition. A natural asthma relief program typically focuses on diligent monitoring, avoiding factors that worsen symptoms, and lifestyle modifications.
Who Does Asthma Affect?
While asthma can affect individuals of all ages, it typically begins during childhood. This is primarily because the immune system is still developing. Some other factors that make a child more likely to develop asthma include viral infections of the lungs and exposure to allergens such as cigarette smoke. A child is also much more likely to have asthma if they have a mother who has asthma. However, a family history of the condition among other family members also increases the risk of developing asthma.
Although those are the most common factors that increase an individual’s risk of developing asthma, they aren’t the only ones. Since asthma is one of the four main types of allergic reactions, it often occurs due to pollen food or seasonal allergies. Chemical exposure from a neighborhood industrial plant or other building materials is also a risk factor for asthma. Obesity worsens asthma symptoms and might make some individuals more likely to develop it.
An interesting fact is that asthma is more common in boys and girls. By the time these same individuals become teens or adults, asthma is much more common in women. Race or ethnicity also plays a role in asthma development. African Americans and Puerto Ricans have the highest risk of developing asthma when compared to other groups. Asthma also claims more African American and Hispanic children’s lives than non-Hispanic white children.
Common Causes of Asthma
While the overall cause of asthma is still a mystery, asthma involves an inappropriately strong immune reaction in the lungs. While most individuals can enjoy the smell of freshly mowed grass or try to avoid the smell of a moldy basement without too much trouble, they trigger a mighty immune cascade in individuals with asthma.
When the immune system is in overdrive, its inflammatory response immediately constricts the airways by narrowing them and sometimes producing excess mucus. In some individuals, the muscles around the airways also contract, intensifying the struggle to breathe. Repeated bouts with asthma permanently change the walls of the airways by making them thicker.
Asthma symptoms worsen when triggered by certain substances. Issues with the air, including an extremely cold air temperature, pollution, pollens, mold, pet dander, and dust mites, can trigger an asthma attack. Exercise, laughter, crying, or feeling stress can send the immune system of a person with asthma into overdrive. Other factors that can set off this robust immune-mediated response include infections and certain medications, including aspirin.
Symptoms of Asthma
The classic asthma symptoms include a tight chest feeling, shortness of breath, wheezing, and coughing. Although coughing can occur at any time, it’s most common in the early morning or at night.
Other respiratory diseases such as emphysema and Congestive Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder can cause similar symptoms, but asthma symptoms result from certain events or in specific ways. For example, asthma is often worse when an individual has a cold or other viral infection, in the morning or at night. Asthma symptoms also tend to appear and recede, whereas individuals with other conditions tend to have continual symptoms. Triggering substances or events are, perhaps, the most well-known distinguishing feature of asthma.
While asthma causes chronic symptoms that wax and wane over time, it can also cause acute attacks. Asthma attacks can quickly turn a perfect day at the park into a frantic rush to the local Emergency Room. Sometimes there’s more warning before an asthma attack, but the feelings of urgency and the threat to life are still the same once the attack is underway. Unfortunately, individuals with more severe symptoms tend to have asthma attacks more frequently.
A look around a playground can sometimes reveal a parent of a child with asthma. Just look around when a child begins coughing. Parents of children with asthma know that coughing can be the first sign of an impending asthma attack. According to our patients here at Vital Wellness Center, once an attack is in progress, it can feel like a heavy load is placed on the chest or it is tight. Other patients have said they felt as if they were trying to inhale air through a straw or coffee stirrer. Individuals having an asthma attack often feel lightheaded or begin to wheeze, which usually increases feelings of panic.
The Connection Between Asthma and Chiropractic
Many of our patients are shocked to hear us say that we don’t treat asthma. We don’t. We will never tell someone to stop using their maintenance medication or rescue inhaler. These are life-sustaining measures for individuals with this life-threatening condition.
Instead, we focus on optimizing nerve functioning so the respiratory system can function at its best. This helps our patients and patients at other chiropractic practices better manage their condition. A recent study showed that chiropractic for asthma reduced incidents of difficult breathing by nearly 40%.
How Chiropractic Works to Alleviate Asthma Symptoms
The secret to helping relieve asthma symptoms through chiropractic care is focusing on improving the function of the nerves. Since the spine houses the master nerve or the spinal cord, we spend a lot of time manually adjusting the spine, so it is properly aligned. When the spine is appropriately aligned, the nerves can optimally carry signals between the brain and the rest of the body. When nerve signals are correctly carried between the lungs and the brain, the brain receives the data it needs to command the lungs.
Proper nerve signaling also ensures adequate circulation and, therefore, delivery of nutrients, including oxygen. While asthma attacks aren’t always preventable, having enough oxygen in the body’s tissues before an attack can reduce or stall symptoms linked with a reduced supply of oxygen.
Another reason our chiropractic care brings our patients natural asthma relief is thoracic spine adjustment. The thoracic spine is the area above the lungs. Ensuring that this portion of the spine is aligned correctly gives the lungs maximum expansion room. As a result, an individual can breathe as deeply as possible.
When to Visit Our Chiropractor for Asthma Relief
While asthma symptoms come and go, the best time to visit us for natural asthma relief is now. Asthma is a complex condition that can cause permanent lung damage. Here at Vital Wellness Center, we are pleased to partner with other medical professionals, so that you can reap all the benefits of your existing medication along with the benefits of our chiropractic for asthma. Contact us today for answers to your questions and an appointment with Dr. Foss to experience natural relief for asthma.