Question: Dear Dr Harvey,
I was diagnosed with adult onset asthma a few months ago. Lately the symptoms have been getting worse. Now I have to use an inhaler when I get an attack, but I don't like the side effects. Can chiropractic help me?

In normal breathing, air enters your nose and mouth and travels down your trachea, which divides into the left and right bronchi. The bronchi enter the lungs and extend down to the smallest branches, known as bronchioles. This is where oxygen enters the blood and carbon dioxide leaves it.

When this system does not work normally, the bronchioles may go into spasms, become swollen, or fill with mucus. This is commonly known as an asthmatic attack. It can be mild and somewhat uncomfortable or, in the most severe cases, prove to be fatal.

Often the person having the attack feels as though he or she can't take in a deep breath. Once the air is in, the person may find it very difficult to exhale. In an acute attack, the patient may be gasping for air. This may lead to a state of panic and make the attack even worse. These attacks can last from a few minutes to several hours, or even days.

There is no known medical cure for asthma at this time. Inhalers may be used for temporary relief. However, these may cause serious side effects. Some patients have also tried cortisone or other drugs with varying degrees of temporary success.

In our clinic we have treated hundreds of asthma cases, in both adults and children. It is actually one of the most common conditions that we treat in children and we enjoy a great deal of success.

For those people who did not have asthma as children but developed it later in life (adult onset), we find that the onset commonly occurred dose to some sort trauma, such as a car accident or fall. The trauma may have also been due to a very stressful time in one's life.

Whatever the reason for the symptom –in this case asthm– my job is to find the cause of the problem and treat it. In the case of asthma, we look for misalignment of the spine, known as subluxation, which causes pressure on the nervous system.

It only makes sense that if there is pressure on the nerves that control the function of your lungs and bronchioles, they will not function properly.

Research shows the relationship between improper nervous system function and its effect on asthma. The Windsor autopsies on 70 people with respiratory diseases found spiral abnormalities in all 70 cases. Another study showed a much lower incidence of asthma in children who received chiropractic care than in children under the care of pediatricians. There are some studies that show a 90% success rate in improvement of symptoms.

A number of times we have had people come into our clinic during an attack, and after receiving an adjustment they leave breathing normally, without the use of any drugs. Most asthmatics notice a great deal of improvement in their symptoms after regular care. Some have even had all the symptoms disappear.

In conclusion, I believe that chiropractic is the best choice of care for anyone suffering from asthma. Please tell anyone you know who has asthma to try chiropractic – they'll be glad they did!

©2009 Dr. Harvey


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San Diego Chiropractor Dr. Gregory Harvey — 12750 Carmel Country Road, Suite # 207 — San Diego, CA 92130 — 858-481-4125