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breathing | asthma | osteopathy

How could an Osteopath assist me with asthma treatment?

Written by Dr Elise Fuller

breathing | asthma | osteopathy

What options are there for alternative asthma treatment?

Asthma treatment is an enormous requirement in healthcare in Australia and the impact to the individual can be debilitating illness. Did you know that Asthma is the leading burdensome disease for children up to 15 years and in the top ten overall! And an enormous 1 in 10 Australians have asthma with 45% of these people have poorly controlled conditions. That’s quite high and there is more that can be done with regards to treatment than medications. 

When you look at the structures behind breathing:

  • ribs
  • back/spine
  • diaphragm
  • intercostals (muscles between ribs)
  • upper chest/neck muscles (accessory muscles) used when breathing becomes laboured…

…it become clear WHY Osteopathic treatment can improve the mechanics of breathing.

Unfortunately so many conditions get just the medication side of treatment which is definitely a part of overall therapy, but imagine the ease you could gain with your breathing if someone was able to loosen up all the structures that become a super tight because breathing has been a problem. 

Osteopathy, asthma and assistance with breathing can be a wonderful way to work on this foundation need for breathing.  

Did you know there are over 50 muscles involved in breathing?

Sometimes it’s tricky enough for our body to co-ordinate the efforts of all the muscles to work together. After injury to the joints, bones or muscles that help with breathing, it puts stress on the other joints or muscles involved taking up the slack, because breathing is kind of important!  

If we throw other health issues into the mix that might affect breathing, such as asthma, a common cold or a respiratory virus it can be hard for the whole system to function efficiently.  

How might an Osteopath help your asthma treatment?

Our aim in osteopathy is always to assist the bones, joints and muscles to get back to the best function they can be in. This applies to the structures and movement involved with breathing and it’s something we commonly see.  

Our treatments offer assistance to sufferers by working on all aspects of the breathing mechanism, including the ribs, spine, diaphragm and other muscles of breathing. Nerve control of the chest, as well as blood and fluid supply to the bronchii and lungs. Osteopathy can also play an important preventative role in the care of someone who is suffering from asthma. 

Why neck pain is common in breathing issues

The muscles used when you breathe too much from the upper chest rather than the lower ribcage and diaphragm, actually have connections into the upper and lower neck. It’s when these muscles become tight in their rib connections that the neck starts to become irritated too. It’s common that the irritation is more around the middle to front of the neck which follows the line of the scalene muscles themselves. When you relax the tension in these muscles and re-train breathing patterns, the neck also…finally has a chance to relax.

Is an Osteopaths asthma treatment instead of using my asthma medications?

No! Osteopaths recognize the important role of anti-inflammatory medication, antibiotics and broncho-dilators in the treatment of asthma, especially in acute attacks. Osteopaths work in conjunction with other health care professionals with the long-term aim of decreasing the patient’s dependence on medication. 

If you want someone to look deeper into the structure of your breathing, find a body worker with experience in releasing all the tissues that need a bit of TLC!


Want to see one of our team for your asthma related stiffness or assessment?

Call 9859 5059 or book in online.