What is asthma?

Asthma is a chronic disease that causes inflammation and muscles to tighten within the airways, causing breathing difficulties and shortness of breath. Allergies and childhood respiratory infections have been linked to asthma, but there is still much that is unknown about the disease. Today asthma is one of the most common diseases with close to 26 million US sufferers. It remains one of the most financially draining diseases due to its chronic nature and the fact that it unequally affects populations. People of color and women of all ethnicities suffer from asthma at a disproportionate rate compared with other populations. There is no known cure for asthma and since this disease can be deadly, it is essential to find preventative therapies which help prevent or reduce asthma attacks from occurring.

What are the most common symptoms of asthma?

Asthma is the type of chronic disease which causes flare ups known as asthma attacks. A person may go many days without an asthma attack and can appear perfectly healthy to people they meet. Attacks average less than once a day but more than once a week. The length and severity of an attack is anywhere from several minutes to several days and can sometimes trigger other health events like infections to occur. Patients often need a recovery period after a severe attack.

The main symptom of asthma of course is experiencing shortness of breath or trouble breathing. Wheezing, coughing and the sensation of the chest tightening are also fairly common symptoms that arise during an asthma attack.

How can asthma impact your daily life?

Although there is no absolute cure for asthma, the disease is often categorized as being “controlled” or “uncontrolled.” Living with uncontrolled asthma can create major limitations on life, but even controlled asthma can create regular inconveniences. Since physical activity is a common asthma trigger, patients can feel limited in their ability to work out and enjoy sports and other physical activities. Since asthma is common in childhood, this can be particularly depressing and isolating for kids who want to enjoy playing with their peers.

Asthma attacks often occur more frequently at night, in fact this is the time of day with the highest mortality rates for asthma. Attacks while sleeping can disrupt sleep, leading to chronic tiredness during the day and the inability to concentrate or perform tasks at peak performance levels. With uncontrolled asthma, even simple tasks like walking up stairs, carrying groceries, or cleaning the house can become challenging.

The emotional impact of this lifelong disease cannot be ignored. Experiencing an asthma attack can feel like a near-death experience. Gasping for air and fearing the attack won’t stop is highly traumatic. Such an attack can be followed by the constant worry of not knowing when another attack will occur. Patients often need to be hypervigilant to avoid exposure to the allergens that trigger their attacks, leading to lifestyle alterations and possibly missing out on hobbies and pastimes.

What are the drawbacks/side effects of traditional treatments?

Many people are familiar with the asthma inhaler as a treatment option for asthma attacks. However, these “rescue” inhalers are not meant for regular use, as this can be a sign that your asthma is uncontrolled. Rescue inhalers are designed for emergency use and the long-term chronic implementation of such devices and drugs can actually place a patient at a higher risk for more severe attacks.

There are a variety of long-term asthma control medications, such as inhaled corticosteroids, leukotriene modifiers, long-acting beta agonists (LABAs), and long-acting muscarinic antagonists (LAMAs). It’s important to weigh the individual risk factors and side effects of each medication with the benefits of controlling asthma and reducing flare-ups. That said, there is no complete treatment available that will cure asthma and prescribed medications will need to be taken for the rest of a patient’s life. Medications will also need to be adjusted periodically, which requires continuous monitoring and care.

How can chiropractic care help alleviate the symptoms of asthma?

While traditional medical interventions focus on the respiratory system, using steroids and other drugs, chiropractic takes a more holistic approach to managing and preventing asthma symptoms. Did you know misalignments in the spine can cause pinched nerves, which in turn reduce nerve function, potentially increasing the levels of cortisol throughout the body (the hormone responsible for our fight-or-flight response) and lowering the levels of IgA? The latter is an immunoglobulin which plays a role in controlling both allergic reactions and asthma. Spinal manipulation has been shown to enhance IgA levels, while at the same time decreasing cortisol levels. This can allow many patients to reduce – and in some cases eliminate – their asthma attacks and the need for asthma medication.

How can Oakland Spine & Physical Therapy help improve your asthma?

Trust the highly-trained and qualified chiropractors of Oakland Spine & Physical Therapy in North Jersey to help you regain control of your asthma and break-free from the constant worry of another attack. Medications don’t address the underlying cause of your asthma triggers, but by taking a holistic approach, our chiropractors can naturally balance your body and remove the irritation and inflammation that eventually leads to an asthma attack.

Our team looks to identify your body’s imbalances while addressing any lifestyle or environmental factors that contribute to triggering a flare-up and causing an asthma attack to occur. We understand how frustrating asthma can be, limiting your activities and disrupting your sleep. Take a natural, holistic approach to your well-being and find the path to unburdening yourself from the threat of asthma constantly overshadowing your life. We’re ready to help your body to heal.

Chiropractic and Physical Therapy Treatment for Asthma in New Jersey

Serving Bergen and Passaic County from our Oakland, Wayne, Fair Lawn, and Closter, NJ Offices