Asthma – How can Osteopathy help?

Asthma is a respiratory condition caused by spasm of the bronchi of the lungs, resulting in difficulty breathing. According to Asthma Australia, one in nine people suffer from asthma, ranging from childhood through to adults.

It is a form of hypersensitivity, like an allergy but in the airways. Certain triggers can cause the airways to swell and produce mucus contributing to narrowing the passageway for air.


Asthmatic triggers include;
  • Exercise
  • Breathing in cold air
  • Dust
  • Pollen
  • Animal fur like cats
  • Some food groups like dairy
  • Tobacco smoke

When you experience an asthmatic episode, it may come on slowly (hours to weeks) or very suddenly (minutes). In a severe episode, you will experience an asthma attack which requires medical attention immediately.


Symptoms to look out for:
  • Breathlessness
  • Wheezing
  • Persistent cough
  • Tightness in chest
For asthma sufferers the symptoms don’t stop at difficulty breathing. Often it is associated with a tight upper back, stiffness through the ribs, and aching in the front of the neck. This is because during an asthmatic episode, the body switches from normal breathing powered by the big diaphragm muscle, to the much smaller accessory breathing muscles. These include the scalene neck muscles and intercostal rib muscles. These muscles become overworked and painful, causing discomfort during everyday life.
How Can Osteopathy Help with Asthma?

Osteopathically we can help alleviate the musculoskeletal symptoms by relieving the tightness around the neck and increasing the movement between the back and ribs. We also work on improving the diaphragm muscles function as well as calming down the nervous system to de-stress the body following an episode.

An Osteopath will also focus on deep breathing, encouraging patients to breathe using their diaphragm and lower ribs as opposed to the neck muscles and upper ribs. This technique is called abdominal breathing and should be a natural resting state of breathing for all.

What Can You Do?

Unfortunately, there is no complete cure, it must be properly managed. A management plan should be in place with your medical professional, known triggers should be determined by a Naturopath and avoided, as well as Osteopathic treatment to help manage the muscular symptoms of asthma. Although it is a serious condition the symptoms can be lessened. Taking responsibility for your asthma condition with a management plan will help you live a happy, healthy life, and most importantly breathe easy.

For more information read here Come and see us at Optimum Wellbeing, Worongary, Gold Coast, Osteopathy, Naturopathy and Massage.

07 5530 7921 – Book Now for your appointment and begin your treatment.

Osteopathy Australia