Guy S. Beresford D.O | Jane E. Hartley D.O | 01242 516048 |

Bio mechanical Aspects of Asthma

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Asthma is a chronic (long-term) lung disease that inflames and narrows the airways.

Asthma causes recurring periods of wheezing (a whistling sound when you breathe), chest tightness, shortness of breath, and coughing. The coughing often occurs at night or early in the morning. Asthma affects people of all ages, but it most often starts during childhood. The inflammation makes the airways swollen and very sensitive. The airways tend to react strongly to certain inhaled substances. When the airways react, the muscles around them tighten. This narrows the airways, causing less air to flow into the lungs. The swelling also can worsen, making the airways even narrower. Cells in the airways might make more mucus than usual. Mucus is a sticky, thick liquid that can further narrow the airways.

Asthma has no cure. Even when you feel fine, you still have the disease and it can flare up at any time.

However, with today's knowledge and treatments, most people who have asthma are able to manage the disease. They have few, if any, symptoms. They can live normal, active lives and sleep through the night without interruption from asthma The treatment for asthma includes the use of inhalers and sometimes steroids to help calm the inflammation of the airways.

….so where does osteopathy fit in?......

Osteopathic treatment will have no effect on the airways but it will be able to help the biomechanics of the respiratory system which become overloaded in a patient suffering from asthma,. Evidence has shown there is no cure for asthma, only help. It has been shown that aiding diaphragmatic breathing and the bio mechanics of the ribs can assist a patient struggling with the symptoms of asthma and their difficulty in breathing. Manual therapy to the muscles and joints involved in  the breathing mechanism and advice on breathing exercises can help asthmatic sufferers. This includes treatment to the intercostal muscles, diaphragm and the muscles of the neck (the accessory breathing muscles that come into play when  someone is struggling with their breathing).

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