With Chiropractic Care, Asthma Symptoms Can Decrease

Asthma affects over 17 million Americans and is among our costliest health care burdens.  EPA statistics as of March 2010 indicate that 7.8% of Americans suffer from asthma and that the prevalence of asthma has been increasing in recent years.  Recently, several of the medications commonly used to treat asthma have come under scrutiny for questions about safety and effectiveness.  Click here and here for a few articles on the subject.  What, then, is a good way to counter or relieve asthma symptoms?  Several research articles indicate that chiropractic care can be quite useful for the management of asthma.   

Dr. William Amalu has composed a synopsis of the chiropractic management of 47 patients along with a detailed case study of a 12-year old male with persistent asthma whose symptoms resolved under care, and whose medication use decreased from oral medication twice a day and three different inhalers four times per day each for a total of 24 inhalations per day, to no medication (click here for a link to the PDF as well as two similar studies).  Two things are of particular note in this case study:  one, the boy's condition was co-managed with a medical respiratory specialist, who provided objective testing of his respiratory status; and two, Amalu monitored the patient's neurophysiological response to chiropractic care by paraspinal thermography (for an explanation of this technology, click here).  Paraspinal thermography is one of several objective outcome assessments used currently at Path of Life.  Dr. Amalu's synopsis suggests the benefit of chiropractic care for asthma patients.

Boy Chiro.jpg Graham and Pistolese conducted a study of the impairment ratings of 81 asthmatic children before the start of chiropractic care and after two months of care (for the abstract, click here; a copy of this article is available at Path of Life).  The results of this study showed significant symptom improvement 90.1% of subjects 60 days after chiropractic care when compared to the pre-chiropractic scores (p < 0.05).  Furthermore, the children reported an average of a nearly 50% reduction of frequency of asthma attacks.  Though objective measures were not followed in this study, the results certainly suggest that chiropractic care is beneficial for the management of asthma symptoms.  A similar result was reported by Bronfort et al in a 2001 JMPT article. (click here for the abstract)

 It is of note, however, that many of the available research studies on chiropractic care and asthma were not conducted with reproducible and reliable objective outcome assessments, and therefore do not add strength to the case-study and empirical observation-supported argument that asthma patients can benefit from chiropractic management.  This recent literature review (click here) summarizes data available to 2010, and accordingly recommends that patients suffering from asthma be conservatively co-managed with a medical doctor.  This approach affords a patient multiple resources, and is endorsed by Path of Life, as it offers a patient the opportunity to benefit from both chiropractic adjustment and the support of available emergency measures if and when necessary.    

Click here to access another page that discusses the connection between the top bones of the spine and asthma.