How can manual therapy help asthma sufferers
Asthma is caused by inflammation of the airways to the lungs, resulting in them becoming both swollen and narrowed, therefore making breathing more difficult. Asthmatics will often suffer symptoms such as coughing, wheezing, chest tightness and shortness of breath.
As yet there is no cure for asthma so treatment looks to manage it and this may involve a combination of medication and lifestyle practices.
What could be triggering it?
Looking at potential triggers and working to lessen or eliminate them is a good initial step. Common triggers include things such as smoke, dust, moulds, grass, pollution, pollens, certain foods, exercise and stress. Triggers are however very individual, so looking to make an asthma diary can help identify possible ones.
What could I do to help?
There are many things that may help. The 1st we have discussed above in looking to find triggers.
Looking to improve breathing mechanics may also help. This again will vary person to person, depending on the severity of the symptoms, age and ability. It could include practising breathing exercises, taking up yoga or pilates, starting gentle, progressive aerobic exercise and also manual therapy treatment. You may also find some supplements of benefits to help lessen inflammation, improve blood perfusion and aid relaxation. There are many potential supplements for this, but it is something that you may wish to discuss with your GP, asthma nurse or local health food shop.
What could manual therapy help with?
Treatments such as Osteopathy look at the patient as a whole. A therapist may look at improving rib and diaphragm function, lessening strain on muscles and joints and mobilising the chest, ribs and spine. This may assist in improving breathing capacity and lung expansion, lessening fatigue and assisting sleep.
Treatment may be accompanied by exercise and lifestyle advice which may help to assist these benefits and provide longer term improvements. A therapist may include review your sports and exercise, investigate breathing patterns and perhaps encourage taking up an instrument or joining a local singing group.
Need more help?
If you need further advice, please contact our team who will be pleased to help.