Asthma can result from disruption of normal nerve
function in the spine due to misalignment.

Asthma can be a terrifying condition and even fatal condition.  In an acute asthma attack the muscles of the bronchial air tubes constrict and prevent air from getting to the lungs.  Asthma attacks can be triggered by normally harmless things like pollen, foods, dust, mold, or grass.  They can also be triggered by a simple cold.

Some people live their entire life trying to avoid everything that might trigger an attack. Occasionally they must be rushed to the hospital for shots that will relax the tubes to let air pass.  Many take regular allergy shots to try to change the antibodies in the blood that react wrongly with the environment.

Asthma can result from issues in the nervous system that can be
affected by chiropractic problems.

Chiropractors discovered many years ago that when they straightened out a person’s back problem, his asthma would often disappear.  To understand how this happens it’s important to remember that the primary focus of chiropractic is to remove interference from the nervous system.  Now, looking at the two main features of asthma – bronchial muscle contraction and mucus secretion – we find that they are both under nervous system control.  Stimulation of the parasympathetic nervous system, (through the vagus nerve), leads to bronchial constriction and excess production of mucus.  The sympathetic nervous system, through beta-adrenergic receptors, mediates bronchial dilatation and, less certainly, diminished mucus secretion.

The Spinal Source of Asthma

The root of asthma can be found in an improperly responding nervous system (neurogenic asthma), immune system (allergic asthma) or inflammatory system (inflammatory asthma).  Asthma researchers say that an overactive parasympathetic nervous system can explain why such nonspecific stimuli such as smoke, viruses and even sudden weather changes trigger wheezing in both allergic and nonallergic asthmatics.  Chiropractors believe that irritation of the vagus nerve (which can be affected by subluxation in the upper neck involving the atlas-C1 and axis-C2 vertebrae) or suppression of sympathetic nerve fibers (mid-back or thoracic spine) can lead to bronchial spasm.  A chronic subluxation in the upper neck or other related area of the spine can put the nervous system close to threshold in spontaneously constricting the muscles of the bronchial tubes.

There is recent medical evidence that ashtma can result from neurogenic inflammation which is the retrograde release of inflammatory molecules by C-fibers.  The C-fibers synapse in a the dorsal horn of the spinal cord. Chronic pain is known to result cause “central sensitization” of these fibers which can result in neurologically induced inflammatory reactions in the body.  Chiropractic spinal adjustment reduces C-fiber afferentation from the spinal column and activates descending cortical pathways through the stimulation of mechanoreceptors in muscle spindles and joint capsule which release inhibitory neurotransmitters in the dorsal horn. The result is a reduction in central sensitization, and the relief of neurogenic conditions, including asthma.

Individuals with allergic asthma may also have underlying spinal causes.  The November/December 2000 issue of Today’s Chiropractic reports that patients with persistent asthma that ranged from mildly persistent to severely persistent not only improved dramatically under chiropractic care but also maintained their improvement for a two year follow-up period.  In the study, 47 patients from age 7 to 42 participated. The patients were seen between 14 and 44 times and most began care at 3 visits per week for the first 4 to 8 weeks.  Improvement was based on the patient’s improvement in their symptoms as well as their use of asthma medication. All 47 of the patients showed significant improvements from 87 to 100 percent. At the two-year follow-up, all 47 of the patients also reported that they maintained the improvements they made at the beginning of the study.

Every one of the patients in the study experienced improvement
in their asthma symptoms a minimum of 87% under chiropractic care.

The authors in this study point out that 17 million Americans suffer from asthma and 14 people die in the United States every day as a result. Annually, we spend more than $13 billion treating asthma medically, more than three times the total amount spent every year on chiropractic care. Asthma is the leading cause of hospitalization of children and has shown an alarming 58% increase in its death rate over the past 30 years, one of only three diseases to do so.

Chiropractic is not a cure for asthma.  The patients in this study achieved improvements in their asthma symptoms, but were not cured. They improved because chiropractic care helps restore normal body function by removing interference to the body’s master control system, the central nervous system.  Every one of the patients in the study experienced improved in their asthma symptoms a minimum of 87% under chiropractic care.

The chiropractor’s job is to release the flow of the body’s inborn intelligence that flows through the nervous system.  When the brain and body are able to communicate properly without interference then natural health is possible.  If there is disruption of that flow of nerve impulses then no amount of herbs, supplements or drugs will restore health.  When the nervous system is unblocked the body can rush healing commands to any affected tissues in the body and draw on whatever resources are needed in order to help correct the problem.  The body is its own pharmacy and can make any drug it needs provided there is no pressure on the nerves supplying the organs and glands.