Chiropractic, Children, and Asthma

Recently, we have had people ask us if chiropractic can help with kids, particularly kids with asthma. I wanted to share a recent study on this topic.

As chiropractors, we do not “treat” any specific condition. We make sure that the nervous system is operating at its highest capacity, free of subluxation. When the body and brain aren’t communicating correctly, then we start seeing problems (symptoms) arising in the body.

Recently the journal Pediatric, Maternal and Family Health, published a study featuring a nine-year old child with chronic asthma and other comorbidities. The asthma had sent the child to the emergency room 4 times, with one of those stays lasting 5 days.

The history of trauma in this boy’s life started at a very young age. His mother suffered from pre-eclampsia during pregnancy which resulted in an emergency caesarean birth. He was involved in a car accident at 6, where he was struck but “uninjured.” By 9, he had suffered “episodes of low back pain, leg and foot pain, colic, sugar cravings, stomachaches, constipation, diarrhea, allergies, behavioral problems, ADHD, and eczema” along with food allergies (1).

His parents sought chiropractic care for him, where the DC conducted a thorough examination (including postural assessment, range of motion, thermal scan, and other common tests used to detect subluxation. They found subluxations in the cervical and pelvic region, and throughout care found subluxations in the lumbar and thoracic region as well. His care lasted 6 months (which differs case to case, because everyone is a unique individual and responds to care differently).

After 6 months of care there was a re-evaluation and there were significant changes reported by the chiropractor and the boy’s parents:

-He hadn’t been hospitalized for the chronic asthma since starting care

-They were able to reduce his medication use (for asthma) from 4 times daily to on an as-needed basis.

-Sleep was improved

-Eczema was not as bad (there were flare-ups that had occurred, but were manageable)

-Cognitive ability increased as his grades were higher and he no longer needed “special accommodations’ for ADHD.

In this particular case, the child had suffered from not only chronic asthma, but a number of other issues that prevented him from living to his full potential. It is important to note that the chiropractor did not treat this boy’s asthma or any other condition. The Doctor of Chiropractic simply locates, analyzes and reduces spinal subluxations interfering with the proper function of the nervous system.

Most people have one of two questions at this point. One being “how did he get this way?” and the other “what does the spine and nervous system have to do with lungs or asthma?”

Let’s start with the first. How did he get this way? This is a common question with a fairly simple answer: Stress. Ultimately it is the stress of life that causes wear and tear on the body. Life is all about having to adapt to physical, chemical and mental stressors that come in many forms. Many of us sustain our first trauma to the nerve system at a young age, from a fall, traumatic birth, or even awkward sleeping position or posture. For the individual in the study, a likely source of his subluxations are the traumatic c-section birth and/or the car accident at a young age. From there, he continued to develop into the symptomatic conditions described above as his nervous system did its best with compromised function.

The other question of “what does the spine and nervous system have to do with lungs or asthma?” is fairly straight forward as well. Of major concern to the chiropractor is the autonomic portion of the nervous system. This is responsible for shifting the body from a stress “fight or flight” response into a relaxing “rest, digest, and heal” state. The body cannot be in both states at the same time and often when subluxations are present, the body is not able to show proper balance in the autonomic system. This system is responsible for dilation and contraction of the smooth muscles that surround our airways. When those muscles over contract, airways get smaller and asthma symptoms may present. It is well documented that organs whose nerve supply is compromised show abnormal and pathological change. This case shows the opposite affect, that when interference is removed from the nervous system, it is able to regulate and adapt as it was designed to do and dysfunction resolves, along with symptoms.

If you would like further studies like this or want to talk more about how your child (or yourself) overcome asthma, please contact us.

For more studies, you can go visit the Australian Spinal Research Foundation’s page (

Stone-McCoy P, Taylor C, 2018, “Resolution of Asthma and other functional disorders following chiropractic care to reduce vertebral subluxations in a nine year old male: a case report,” Journal Pediatric, Maternal and Family Health, April 9 2018


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