What is the treatment for asthma?
Treating asthma involves both preventing symptoms and treating an asthma attack in progress. Preventive, long-term control medications reduce the inflammation in your child's airways that leads to symptoms. Quick-relief medications quickly open swollen airways that are limiting breathing. Most children with persistent asthma use a combination of long-term control medications and quick-relief medications, taken with a hand-held inhaler.
In some cases, medications to treat allergies also are needed. The right medication for your child depends on a number of things, including his or her age, symptoms, asthma triggers and what seems to work best to keep his or her asthma under control. (source: Mayo Clinic)
The Role of Your Child’s Autonomic Nervous System and the Potential Adverse Affects of Anterior Head Syndrome.
Anterior Head Syndrome or (A.H.S.) for short is a Primary Condition that may negatively affect the ANS or Autonomic Nervous System, which you know is part of the CNS or Central Nervous System that helps us run everything in our bodies from breathing to digesting our lunch, without our conscience control ( thank goodness).
Your child’s spine, which houses and protects their CNS (Central Nervous System) or brain and spinal cord, has a normal range. Just as you know there are normal ranges for all types of systems in your child’s body, for example a few are; blood pressure, cholesterol, body temperature and sugar levels. Your child’s spine is no different. There is a normal range.
It’s easy to understand, “Breathing is controlled by the centers of the brain…. The main one is the medulla oblongata (which is found at the back of your skull (head) that extends down to the top of your cervical spine or neck). From here, the nerve impulses (or messenger) are sent to the respiratory muscles (diaphragm and intercostals or rib muscles) causing them to expand or contract.” (source: Keith Wassung, author, health lecturer)
“Nerve impulses (messengers) also control the tone of the bronchial tubes. The sympathetic nervous system dilates or opens the bronchial tubes, and the parasympathetic stem constricts or closes them.” (source: Keith Wassung, author, health lecturer)
Asthma is a Secondary Condition that can be adversely affected by Anterior Head Syndrome. Asthma has many causes and Anterior Head Syndrome is not the only one.
The exact cause of asthma isn't known (emphasis is mine). Researchers think some genetic and environmental factors interact to cause asthma, most often early in life. These factors include:
- An inherited tendency to develop allergies, called atopy (AT-o-pe)
- Parents who have asthma
- Certain respiratory infections during childhood
- Contact with some airborne allergens or exposure to some viral infections in infancy or in early childhood when the immune system is developing
If asthma or atopy runs in your family, exposure to irritants (for example, tobacco smoke) may make your airways more reactive to substances in the air. Some factors may be more likely to cause asthma in some people than in others. Researchers continue to explore what causes asthma. (source: NIH)
How A.H.S (Anterior Head Syndrome) could adversely affect Asthma?
The Importance of the Autonomic Nervous System Control of Airways in Bronchial Asthma is a study done by Loula Amin, MD and Stanley P. Galant, MD, West J Med. 1974 July; 121(1): 59–60.
They found “… recent advances in our understanding of the control exerted by Autonomic Nervous System (ANS) on the trachealbrochial tree - the classic concept of bronchial asthma as being solely an allergen – induced immunologic disease cannot adequately explain the exaggerated bronchoconstriction response caused by many non-immunologic stimuli in these patients.
Which means children’s asthma may not be caused by allergies in all cases; there may be a Neurologic cause, such as Anterior Head Syndrome.
The following was from author Keith Wassung from his article “Asthma and Chiropractic”
“ Physiopathic changes in spinal structure actually produce inhibition of nerve impulses. Subjective clinical findings associated with this syndrome include severe asthma attacks and bronchial asthma.”
Neville T. Usher, M.D.
“Research has shown that an imbalance may exist in the nervous system that supplies the bronchial tubes of an asthmatic individual.”
Francis Adams, M.D.
What are the indicators (what you need to watch out for) of a Primary Structural problem of your child’s spine, such as Anterior Head Syndrome?
When we take a case history of a child we ALWAYS ask about the birth. We also ask about the development of the baby, was there any complications with the pregnancy. Why the birth you may be asking? I am assuming that the spine has developed perfectly.
If there was a C-section or use of extraction devices, such as vacuum or forceps –then that is a complicated birth, which may have caused an abnormal shift in the upper portion of the neck.
Which as you know, the Autonomic Nervous System plays a prominent role in breathing, which includes the muscles of respiration and control of constriction and dilation of the bronchioles.
He are the indicators I use to identify a Primary Structural Problem, such as Anterior Head Syndrome (A.H.S):
- Traumatic birth (forceps, vacuum or pulling)
- Complication with pregnancy
- Family history (smoking, allergies)
- Head outside normal range (baby seems stuck in one position)
- Child or teenager’s skull is more than 1 inch anterior from his thoracic spine
- Rounded or hunched upper spine ( turtle back)
If any one indicator is present, then these can indicate a Primary Structural Problem – that can affect the Autonomic Nervous System.
What are the Common treatments for asthma?
As we all know the common treatments for asthma are medications, such as bronchodilators, steroids and allergy treatments. Which have been very helpful in emergency situations such as emergency inhalers or rescue inhalers.
What is a Structural Chiropractors approach?
We see our approach as an enhancement to what you are currently doing for your child. We work well with your Pediatrician. What we focus on is to correct your child’s spine back to within the normal range. This allows the nervous system, specifically the Autonomic Nervous System to function without interference.
We know that when your child’s spine is outside normal range this can irritate the CNS, which can affect in this case - breathing. We are not a cure for asthma, but our focus on Structural Correction has been an enhancement to common treatments for this condition.
What is the treatment?
We focus on the upper cervical spine of your child. We do not use aggressive spinal manipulations, which are safe – yet are unnecessary in a child’s spine. So our approach we use a specific instrument to make our gentle and specific corrections allowing your child’s nervous system return to homeostasis or balance.
Also we recommend complementary instructions on diet and environment to assist us with our corrections.
What to consider.
We ask that you come in for a private consult, which is a conversation and not a commitment. In our conversation we will discuss your child’s case and our approach. If you are comfortable with our methods and we think we can be of help, then we will recommend a complete pediatric structural examination.
The complete pediatric structural examination includes a complete series of structural corrective x-rays, a digital structural examination with analysis and our chiropractic examination with written Initial Phase of Care along with our Complementary recommendations.
We are more than comfortable in talking with your pediatrician if you wish, again we work well with what you are already doing, and our care we see as an enhancement to help what you are doing to work better.
Although all chiropractors have been trained to work with infants to great grand parents, I have taken extra training when it comes to children. I have earned a Fellowship in the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association, under the tutelage of a great pediatric chiropractor Dr. Larry Webster.
Have a GREAT day
Dr. Chris and the Crew of Advanced Chiropractic