Respiratory Function

Health Topics

Bronchitis, Pneumonia: The lungs and bronchi receive an extensive nerve supply from the spine. Case reports and research studies have repeatedly demonstrated an improvement in respiratory function as a result of spinal care.

1) Specific upper cervical chiropractic care and lung function. Kessinger, R Abstracts from the 13th annual upper cervical spine conference, Nov 16-17, 1996 Life College, Marietta, Georgia. Pub in Chiropractic Research Journal, Vol. 1V, No.1, Spring 1997 p. 27 (also Kessinger R; Changes in pulmonary function associated with upper cervical specific chiropractic care JVSR 1997; 1(3):43-9.)

From the abstract: This was a study of 58 patients to determine whether the upper cervical knee chest adjustment as developed by Dr. B.J. Palmer, influenced pulmonary function. FEV-1 and FVC were measured before care and two weeks after care on a computerized auto spiro spirometer. Of the 58 patients, 33 (57%) were considered to have "abnormal" lung function before care. The rest were within normal range. The abnormal group showed the greatest increases in FEV and FVC over the two-week study. Forty-two percent of the abnormal patient population actually tested within normal limits after the two-week study. The "normal" subject population also showed predictable increases in lung function, but not as dramatic as the abnormal group.

2) Chiropractic adjustments of the cervicothorasic spine for the treatment of bronchitis with complications of atelectasis. Hart, D.L. Libich, E, Ficher R. International Review of Chiropractic, March/April 1991.

3) Adjustive osteopathic manipulative treatment in the elderly hospitalized with pneumonia: a pilot study. Noll DR, Shores J, Bryman PN, Masterson EV. Journal of the American Osteopathic Association 1999; 99(3): 143-6 This was a study of twenty-one individuals with acute pneumonia. Eleven of them were given "specific osteopathic manipulative treatment for somatic dysfunction." All twentyone received medical treatment as well (antibiotics etc.). The study found that those getting the manipulative treatments recovered more quickly from pneumonia. As the authors wrote: "Although the mean duration of leukocytosis, intravenous antibiotic treatment, and length of stay were shorter for the treatment group, these measures did not reach statistical significance. However, the mean duration of antibiotic use did reach statistical significance...3.1 days (versus) 0.8 day."

4) A comparison of the effect of chiropractic treatment on respiratory function in patients with respiratory distress symptoms and patients without. Hviid C. Bulletin of the European Chiropractic Union, 1978; 26:17-34. It is suggested that there is a change of the peak flow rate and the vital capacity in patients with obstructive lung disease after chiropractic care.

5) Treatment of visceral disorders by manipulative therapy. Miller WD. In: Goldstein M, Ed. The Research Status of Spinal Manipulative Therapy. Bethesda: Dept. HEW. 1975:295- 301.

Patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease were treated with osteopathic manipulation. 92% of the patients stated they were able to walk greater distances, had fewer colds, experienced less coughing, and had less dyspnea than before treatment. 95% of patients with bronchial asthma said they benefited from chiropractic care. Peak flow rate and vital capacity increased after the third treatment.

6) Relation of faulty respiration to posture, with clinical implications. Lewit K. JAOA, 1980, 79:525-529. The relation of faulty respiration and posture of the spine and pelvis is considered.

7) Somatic Dyspnea and the orthopedics of respiration. Masarsky CS, Weber M Chiropractic Technique, 1991; 3:26-29 Authorʼs Abstract: Several brief cases are presented in which the symptom of dyspnea was alleviated or abolished following the correction of vertebral subluxation complex or other somatic dysfunctions. In discussing such cases, the term "somatic dyspnea" is suggested to denote air hunger or shortness of breath related to somatic dysfunction. Somatic dyspnea is a condition, which may accompany other causes of dyspnea (lung pathology, psychogenic or "functional" causes, etc., or it can exist alone. In our chiropractic practice, most somatic dyspnea is seen as a secondary condition in patients presenting primarily with orthopedic complaints. When the symptom is secondary, the patient will often not mention it until an examination procedure reproduces it or treatment causes it to improve or disappear. The response to manipulative therapy is sometimes so dramatic and rapid that a strong linkage between the dyspnea and the primary presenting complaint is suggested.160

8) Chiropractic and lung volumes - a retrospective study. Masarsky CS, Weber M. ACA Journal, Sept 1986; 20:65-68. Lung vital capacity was found greater after chiropractic adjustment.

9) Chiropractic management of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Masarsky CS, Weber M. JMPT, 1988; 11:505-510.

A 53-year-old man with 20 years of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease was treated with chiropractic, nutritional advice and exercises. Improvements were noted in forced vital capacity, coughing, fatigue and ease of breathing.

10) The influence of osteopathic manipulative therapy in the management of patients with chronic obstructive lung disease. Howell RK, Allen TW, Kappler RE. J AM Osteopathic Association 1975; 74(8): 757-60.

This was a 9-month study on the effects of spinal manipulative therapy as a treatment for obstructive pulmonary disorders, there was a progressive decline in the severity of the condition. The average reduction in severity was approximately 10.7%. All of the patients were noted as having costotransverse dysfunction at the level of T3, as well as T2 being noted in patients with asthma. Joint motion between T3/T4 was restricted. Local tissue was edematous and tender to palpation.

11) Somatic dyspnea and the orthopedics of respiration. Masarsky CS, Weber M. Chiropractic Technique, 1991; 3:26-29.

From the abstract: "Several brief cases are presented in which the symptom of dyspnea (shortness of breathe, air hunger) was alleviated or abolished following the correction of vertebral subluxation complex or other somatic dysfunctions."

12) Lung function in relation to thoracic spinal mobility and kyphosis. Mellin G, Harjula R. Scand. J. Rehab. Med., 1987; 19:89-02. Mobility of the thoracic spine is shown to directly effect respiratory function.

13) Somatic dysfunction associated with pulmonary disease. Beal MC, Morlock JW, JAOA, Vol.84 No.2 Oct. 1984.

A review of osteopathic literature on respiratory disease revealed that the majority of those with lung disease had changes in the spinal area T2-7. In this study, all 40 patients with lung disease had abnormalities of T2-7.

14) The physiologic response to the nose to osteopathic manipulative treatment: preliminary report. Kaluza CL, Sherbin M, May 1983, JAOA, Vol. 82 No.9. The work of breathing was lessened after an osteopathic manipulative treatment.

15) Adjunctive osteopathic manipulative treatment in the elderly hospitalized with pneumonia: A pilot study. Noll DR, Shores J, Bryman PN, Masterson EV. A JAOA 1999; 99(3): 143-6.

A total of 21 people hospitalized with acute pneumonia were enrolled in the study. All patients received medical treatment, including antibiotic medication. In addition, 11 participants underwent "specific osteopathic manipulative treatment for somatic dysfunction.

The study concluded that, "Although the mean duration of leukocytosis, intravenous antibiotic treatment, and length of stay were shorter for the treatment group, these measures did not reach statistical significance. However, the mean duration of oral antibiotic use did reach statistical significance at 3.1 days for the treatment group and 0.8 day for the control group."

Lung and Bronchial Health, Respiratory Problems

1) Treatment of visceral disorders by manipulative therapy. Miller WD. In: Goldstein M, Ed. The Research Status of Spinal Manipulative Therapy. Bethesda: Dept. HEW. 1975:295-301.

Patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease were treated with osteopathic manipulation. 92% of the patients stated they were able to walk greater distances, had fewer colds, experienced less coughing, and had less dyspnea than before treatment. 95% of patients with bronchial asthma said they benefited from chiropractic care. Peak flow rate and vital capacity increased after the third treatment.

2) The atlas fixation syndrome in the baby and infant. Gutmann G. Manuelle Medizin 1987 25:5-10, Trans. Peters RE.

Examination of 1,250 infants five days after birth showed over 25% were suffering from vomiting, irritability and sleeplessness. Examination showed that 75% of these infants had cervical (neck) strain. Treatment frequently resulted in an immediate relief of the symptoms.

3) Symptoms of Visceral Disease. Pottinger, Symptoms of Visceral Disease, Mosby, 1910.

Pottinger is a famous British MD who noticed that patients with chronic bronchial problems to have an anterior saucering of the spine in the mid-scapular region.

4) Effects of soft tissue technique and Chapmanʼs Neurolymphatic Reflex Stimulation on respiratory function. Lines DH, McMilan AJ, Spehr GJ. J Australian Chiropractorsʼ Assoc, 1990;20:17-22.

Thirty asymptomatic subjects received care. Measurements of forced vital capacity (FVC) were taken. A significant improvement in FVC was noted suggesting that chiropractic may improve breathing capacity.

5) A comparison of the effect of chiropractic treatments on respiratory function in patients with respiratory distress symptoms and patients without. Hviid CA. Bull Eur Chiro Union 1978;26:17-34.

6) Chiropractic adjustment in the management of visceral conditions: a critical appraisal. Jamison JR, McEwen AP, Thomas SJ. JMPT, 1992;15:171-180. This was a survey of chiropractors in Australia. More than 50% of the chiropractors stated that asthma responds to chiropractic adjustments; more than 25% felt that chiropractic adjustments could benefit patients with dysmenorrhea, indigestion, constipation, migraine and sinusitis.

7) Chronic ear infections, strep throat, 50% right ear hearing loss, adenoiditis and asthma. by G. Thomas Kovacs, D.C. International Chiropractic Pediatric Association newsletter. July 1995.

4 1/2 year old female. Chronic ear infections, strep throat, (on and off for 4 years) 50% right ear hearing loss, adenoiditis and asthma. Had been on antibiotics (Ceclor); developed pneumonia, on bronchodilators and anti-inflammatory for asthma, steroids. ENT diagnosed child with enlarged adenoids and surgery to remove adenoids and to put tubes in her ears was scheduled. Chiropractic history: cervical (C2)and thoracic (T3) and right sacroiliac subluxation. After 3 or 4 adjustments mother noticed "a changed child, she has life in her body again...acting like a little girl again for the first time in 4 years." After 6 weeks, pediatrician and ENT noticed no sign of ear infection or inflammation, "Her adenoids, which were the worst the ENT has ever seen, were perfectly normal and healthy. Hearing tests revealed no hearing loss whatsoever. When the family was asked how long the child was on antibiotics, her family responded ʻall medication was stopped 6 weeks ago when chiropractic care started.ʼ Shocked and confused by this answer, the family was told to continue chiropractic care because it had obviously worked."

8) Case #2 Adjustive treatment for chronic respiratory ailment in a five year old. Case reports in chiropractic pediatrics. Esch, S. ACA J of Chiropractic December 1988. This is the story of a 5 ½ year old girl with a four-year history of what the parents called "bronchial congestion." She had pneumonia "several times a year" since she was 18 months old. In addition to he attacks of "bronchitis" she suffered from congestion and was wheezy after running and upon waking up in the morning. The father and mother both reported having allergies. Chiropractic Examination reveal subluxations at C-2, T-4 and L-5. At the second adjustment two days after the first the mother reported the child was not coughing as much and by the third visit a week later the mother reporting the child was breathing normally. Twelve adjustments were given over three months and the chief complaint did not recur. A follow-up call four years later revealed no recurrence.

 
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