Asthma is a lung disease involving heightened sensitivity to diverse stimuli and variable airway obstruction that is reversible. It is a controllable ailment, but can be seriously debilitating and even life threatening. Asthma attacks can come suddenly or gradually, last for minutes or go on for days. Muscles around the airway contract, the lining of the airway swells due to inflammation, excess mucus is released and clogs the airways. Breathing becomes harder and harder.
What causes an asthma attack?
The list of environmental, behavioral, emotional, or hereditary triggers that can cause asthma attacks is long and varied:
- Chemicals and chemical fumes, including perfumes, room deodorizers, paint, adhesives, and cleaning products
- NSAIDS (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) such as aspirin, indomethacin, and ibuprofen
Remember: not every item on this list triggers an asthma attack in every person with asthma. Each individual has a highly individualized set of triggers that he or she must learn to recognize and avoid.
What can a Chiropractor do?
Many chiropractors consider their role in caring for patients with asthma, especially those subject to severe attacks, a compliment to the medical management of the disease. They do regular spinal adjustments to make asthma sufferers more comfortable by helping relieve the muscle soreness and discomfort that can develop during asthmatic flare-ups. Chiropractic adjustments can help reduce the frequency and severity of asthma attacks. The achievements of chiropractic in promoting overall wellness, including enhancing the patient’s capacity to cope with chronic ailments, make chiropractors an important part of the health care team that can help asthma patients live more normal lives, minimally encumbered by this incurable, but controllable condition.
The principal goal of chiropractic is to reduce asthma sufferers’ need to rely on the many medications prescribed to prevent and treat asthma. These medicines (or combination of medicines) can have many troublesome and even dangerous side effects, including making patients increasingly dependent on ever-larger doses. Preventing asthma attacks is the key to living a normal life in spite of having asthma. In practical day to day quality of life terms, stopping asthma attacks before they start is better than taking medicines to stop the attack and restore pre-attack normality.