As more people are diagnosed with Asthma (23 million persons worldwide), there is an ever-increasing reliance of medication aimed at relieving or controlling symptoms. This is a complex problem with many possible aggravating factors.
Osteopathic treatment will not cure the disease, but it can help improve the breathing mechanism itself, and reduce inflammation of the bronchi. In doing so, the body becomes better able to cope with the breathing restrictions. This should improve breathing patterns & also reduce medication need.
Symptoms & Diagnosis
Asthma sufferers characteristically have shallow breathing, utilizing only the upper chest muscles. Osteopathic treatment aims to provide better movement within the rib cage as well as encouraging the diaphragm and lower chest to become more involved in the breathing process.
Rounding of the shoulders is also typical with chronic patients. It attempts to make breathing easier during an attack by using accessory respiratory muscles. This posture actually hinders the whole process of breathing and creates abnormal muscular tension patterns.
- Rounded shoulders
- Accessory respiratory muscles (neck & upper chest) overuse
- Shallow, rapid breathing
- Wheezing (inspiration)
Good to know
Exercise such as Pilates and Yoga, that incorporates breathing techniques and aims to improve chest movement can be very beneficial in treating the aggravating factors of the asthma (allergies & stress).