words by Dr Mohamed Rashidinz
Recently attention has been placed on the direct correlation between the spine and asthma.
For many who suffer from asthma, they also have what is called an anterior dishing of the spine between the shoulder blades.
Simply, the spinal bones are misplaced forward. This condition was first identified by F. Pottenger and has become known as Pottenger’s Saucer.
It has been found that gentle and gradual adjustments can slowly correct this problem for many asthma sufferers. It is by no means a cure all.
What is Asthma?
Asthma is a chronic inflammatory disorder of the airways.
Environmental and other factors can provoke inflammation which is always present to some degree, regardless of the severity of the asthma.
From a medical perspective, the basic cause of asthma is unknown.
Heredity may play a role. Asthma is often found in families, especially those with many allergies.
Asthma attacks may be triggered by a wide variety of factors such as allergens, viral infections, exercise, and sensitivity to medication.
From a chiropractic perspective, asthma can be caused by pressure on the spinal nerve centres. In particular, the upper thoracic (dorsal) and lower cervical nerve plexuses are implicated. Nerve supply to the respiratory system is derived from these nerve centres. Impairment to nerve supply can compromise respiratory functioning leading to increased vulnerability to factors as described above.
For example, carrying a heavy bag on his shoulders may rotate a child’s ribs and pinch the nerve centres along the thoracic spine. In these cases, asthma often occurs which at times is “immune” to steroid treatments.
Spinal manipulative treatment to relieve pressure on nerve centres in the upper portion of the back is recommended, especially when mis-alignment is present.
Restoring normal function to the spine and nervous system can have a positive effect and an asthma sufferer may benefit from a spinal evaluation.
Dietary changes are also recommended. This includes restricting sugars, starches, and fried foods and increasing vegetables and fruits.