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Asthma, breathing restrictions, post pneumonia

Restrictions with your breathing can come from many different factors. Asthma can be a very serious breathing problem that for some of the population needs to be treated with medication, to open inflamed restricted bronchus. Sometimes, it’s mechanical in nature.

When looking at someone who complains of difficulty with breathing, as long as there are no red flags in their history, we need to look at all the structures involved that allow us to take a deep breath. As Osteopathic Manual Practitioners, we start with the diaphragm. The diaphragm is a large dome shaped muscle the attaches around the bottom of the ribs and middle of the lower back. It starts at the bottom of the shoulder blades so when tight, it can pull you forward. When we treat the diaphragm we also need to look at the mid back, or thoracic spine. If the thoracic spine is held flexed forward, even if the diaphragm can move, you can’t take a deep breath if you are stuck bent over.  Try this right now!

Now, if we find that the diaphragm moving, and the spine can move, we will then look at the lungs. Lungs can be restricted in their mobility, like any other structure. We have seen changes using a spirometer (a device to measure air flow you breathe into) pre and post treatment in lung volumes. I also did my thesis on trying to increase oxygen saturation in the blood with Osteopathic care, and although we just missed statistical significance, there was a difference pre and post treatment. Lungs attach to the diaphragm, as well as ribs, and lower part of the neck where it attaches to the upper back. If the lung has trouble moving, it pulls on the neck pulling you forward, if you can imagine having a tie on and constantly pulling down on it, that’s what might be happening internally.

So, if you had pneumonia, and the infection is gone, your lung is restricted in its mobility, pulling on your neck forcing you to be bent forward, making you slump, shorting your diaphragm (because when you have pneumonia you take tiny breaths so not to cough), its no wonder you are complaining of shortness of breath. You may want to consider Osteopathic Manual care at Balance Point and you may never need your puffers again!  Like the founder of Osteopathy Dr. Andrew Taylor Still said “The body is a functional unit”, and I think this is a pretty good example of how things work together.

For other ideas for opening up airways, contact Linda Ljucovic for an effective essential oil blend called Easy Air.  It too can open up airways, allowing you to breath more easily.

Dave Ellis, Manual Practitioner Osteopath, Oakville

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