Osteopathy and Asthma

If you or someone you know suffers from asthma, you likely know that it is a condition that can greatly impact one’s quality of life and ability to enjoy routine activities.

Although there is currently no cure for asthma, Osteopathy may be able to provide some relief.

By treating the musculoskeletal effects of asthma through manual treatment of the regions affected, Osteopathic Manual Practitioners are able to treat many of the debilitating symptoms that are associated. This may help decrease the severity or frequency of future attacks by ensuring the muscles and joints are working optimally.

Since Asthma is a life-long condition, affecting people of all ages, it is a condition that needs to be managed effectively. While there is no known cause for asthma, there are a number of triggers that can impact one’s ability to mitigate condition related complications.

Asthma can be triggered by a wide range of factors, classified as allergic and non-allergic:

Allergy Triggers

  • Dust mites
  • Animals
  • Cockroaches
  • Moulds
  • Pollens
  • Viral infections
  • Air pollution

Non-Allergy Triggers

  • Smoke
  • Cold air
  • Exercise
  • Chemical fumes
  • Strong perfume smells
  • Some food additives
  • Air pollutants
  • Strong emotions

What is Asthma?

Asthma is a chronic inflammatory condition of the lungs that results in narrowing of the airways and leaves the sufferer struggling to get air in and out of their lungs. There are two main factors that cause the airways to narrow • the airway lining becomes inflamed and swells • the muscles of the airways spasm

An Osteopathic Perspective of Asthma’s Impact

During an asthma attack the muscles and joints of the rib cage, shoulders, neck and back work hard for each breath. This can leave residual effects in the body that may cause ongoing respiratory difficulties due to • Muscle tightness • Joint restrictions in the spine and rib cage • Neurological irritation • Diaphragm dysfunction
It is important to note that while Osteopathy is able to help patients manage their asthma alongside other health professionals it does not offer an alternative to medication and management by a physician.