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Childhood Asthma

Asthma In Children


The American Lung Association estimates that there are 7 million children in the United States currently affected by asthma. This makes asthma one of the most common of all chronic childhood illnesses. It is also a leading cause of school absences.


Asthma is a chronic lung disease that makes it difficult to breathe. This happens because of inflammation and narrowing of the air passages that lead into the lungs, called the bronchial tubes. When these air passages constrict, and it becomes hard to breathe, it causes an asthma attack.


Two different types of asthma


Allergic asthma: This is the most common type of asthma. It is an autoimmune disorder. “Autoimmune” means that a person’s immune system is working too hard and is incorrectly targeting substances that are not germs. A person with allergic asthma may experience inflammation and an unnecessary vigorous immune response from contact with a normally harmless substance such as dust, pollen, or mold.


Non-allergic Asthma: This type of asthma is also called intrinsic asthma. It is triggered by factors not related to allergies or the immune system. People with this type of asthma experience airway obstruction and inflammation from situations such as stress, anxiety, cold air temperatures, or particulates in the air.


Asthma symptoms


  • Shortness of breath

  • Chronic cough

  • Wheezing

  • Tightness in the chest

  • Lack of energy during or after physical activities

  • Slow recovery from colds and respiratory infections


Possible asthma triggers


  • Laughing, crying, or other intense emotions

  • Pets, animals, and proteins in their dander or saliva

  • Exercise and physical activity

  • Dust

  • Mold and mildew

  • Pollen

  • Insect feces (dust mites or cockroaches)

  • Smoke (from tobacco, fireplaces, incense, fireworks, Bar-B-Q grill, etc.)

  • Air fresheners

  • Perfumes

  • Cleaning products

  • Hand sanitizers

  • Air pollution

  • Weather changes

  • Food allergens (possibly milk and dairy foods, soy, corn, eggs, nuts, artificial ingredients, etc.)


Treatment for asthma

Asthma sufferers can be prescribed medications such as bronchodilators and anti-inflammatory drugs. They can use inhalers and nebulizers to help them control their symptoms. But there are other natural treatment options that can be incorporated into their asthma management program.

Chiropractic management for asthma

  • Chiropractic can improve respiratory capacity. Chiropractors who are experienced with manipulating the ribs can help the chest to expand better while taking a deep breath. This can increase the Tidal Volume of the lungs (the amount of air that can be breathed in and out).

  • Chiropractic can provide relief for soreness in the muscles of the chest wall. Wheezing can fatigue the muscles of the chest. Repeated coughing can misalign the ribs and vertebrae (spine bones) of the upper and middle back. Restoring the skeleton to a more natural and symmetrical position can help an asthma patient to feel more relaxed and comfortable.

  • Spinal Manipulative Therapy (SMT) provided by chiropractors can increase the quality of life of asthma sufferers according to scientific studies. Information on one such study can be found on the National Institutes of Health website: Chronic pediatric asthma and chiropractic spinal manipulation: a prospective clinical series and randomized clinical pilot study

Child with a healthy airway blowing bubbles outside
Did You Know This About Asthma?

  • Childhood asthma affects boys more than girls. This may be due to anatomical differences between boys and girls, and the fact that the airway passages of girls are slightly larger.

  • Yet boys are more likely to outgrow asthma symptoms than girls

  • If you have a parent with asthma, you are much more likely to develop asthma

  • American schools report approximately 13,000,000 missed school days a year due to asthma (2013 data recorded by the CDC)

  • In 1999 the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) created the National Asthma Control Program for asthma prevention, education, and research. In addition to funding school and community programs, this organization fosters policies that help reduce air pollution.

  • 8% of adults in Florida have asthma (2014 data recorded by the CDC)

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