The Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health published a case study on September 11, 2017, documenting the care of a young girl suffering from asthma, who was helped by chiropractic. This case report was written in the earlier stages of care in order to document initial responses to care. The study does not include a report on the long-term benefits of chiropractic for these types of cases.
This study begins with a brief definition. “Asthma is a chronic inflammatory disorder of the respiratory airways.” The result is an increase in mucus production along with an over-responsive airway leading to reduced airflow. This produces the noticeable wheezing, coughing, and shortness of breath.
The number of sufferers with asthma has continued to increase over the years. In 2001, about 7.3% of the population suffered with this condition. By 2011, that number had jumped to 8.4% of the population suffering with asthma. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated that in 2015 there were almost 24.6 million people suffering with asthma. Of this, approximately 6.2 million are children below the age of 18, with 18.4 million being adults over 18. In 2015, 11.5 million people suffered an asthma attack.
In this case, a 6-year-old African-American boy was brought to the chiropractor by his mother for a chiropractic consultation and possible care. His mother reported that her son had allergies since birth and was diagnosed with asthma at the age of 2. She reported that his asthma was noticeably worse in the winter months. Certain foods seem to trigger his asthma, so his mother removed both dairy and glutens from his diet. At the time of his initial chiropractic consultation, the boy was on five different medications as well as a respiratory inhaler.
During pregnancy, his mother suffered from gestational diabetes and had to take insulin three times per day. His delivery was via cesarean with no reported complications. His mother breast fed her son until the age of two, and he never drank cow’s milk. As an infant, the boy suffered from eczema and was prescribed steroids. The boy would need his inhaler twice per day and would wake from sleep abut 4-5 nights per week.
A chiropractic examination showed a forward head posture, meaning that his head was further forward of his body than is normal. Palpation of his spine revealed a number of areas determined to be subluxations in his spine. Specific chiropractic care was started at the rate of three visits per week.
On the second adjustment visit, the boy’s mother reported improvements in her son’s breathing with no sleep disturbances in the previous two nights. The study recorded that after three weeks of chiropractic care, the patient did not require his asthma medications at night and only used his inhaler one time while he was running and playing.
At the time of the writing of this study, the boy was still under chiropractic care. However, even at this early stage of care, the boy’s mother was able to report that her son only needed one breathing treatment since beginning chiropractic instead of usually needing several during the winter. As of the writing of the study, the boy’s medications had been reduced, he was rarely using an inhaler (only as needed), and was able to play in the park for three hours without use of his inhaler.
In their conclusion, the authors acknowledged the results of this study and called for additional research, “This case report illustrates the reduction of asthma symptoms and medication use in a pediatric patient under chiropractic care. It is recommended that the link between subluxation and visceral dysfunction, such as asthma be investigated further.”