Managing Asthma Through Physiotherapy

 By: James Smi
Physiotherapy Asthma management is a concern for about 15 million people in America. There are many different medications and other treatments used successfully for asthma management. However, some methods used are not quite proven to work.

Some physiotherapy clinics claim that massage can be used for asthma management. They state that it works to relieve the symptoms of wheezing and breathlessness. They use massage on patients young and old. However, there is no substantial proof that massage does any more good for asthma management than to relieve stress.

One alternative physiotherapy method that has been used for asthma management is acupuncture. There is some indication that this technique can actually have some benefit in relieving symptoms of asthma.

Acupuncture does seem to help the immune system fight off illnesses. This is important in helping asthma management. Illnesses such as colds or flu will exacerbate the asthma condition. If acupuncture can reduce this, it is a great help. Yet, acupuncture is still only recommended to be used along with other treatments. It is not to be used alone.

Some acupuncturists use other methods for asthma management. They might burn herbs over acupuncture points. They might give patients a certain kind of massage, or teach them breathing exercises. There is no known validity in these treatments.

Chiropractors rely on spinal manipulation for asthma management. The reviews of this theory are mixed. One study compared a sham, or fake, type of spinal manipulation that was done on one group of asthma patients. The other group got the real manipulations. There was little, if any, difference between the two groups. This would suggest that chiropractic adjustments are not effective for asthma management.

However, another study was done. Eighty-one children were followed through asthma management at a chiropractic clinic over a period of time. Overall, there were 45% fewer asthma attacks among these children after treatment. 30% were able to significantly reduce their asthma medications. Thus, the jury is still out on the effect of chiropractic medicine on asthma management.

There is a physiotherapy specialty certification for those who wish to work with asthma management. Physiotherapists may take a test to become certified as Certified Asthma Educators, and they help people to deal with their condition. What is more, Medicare and Medicaid pay for their services.

There is also some evidence that asthma management for those who have to be admitted to the hospital should involve physiotherapy. There was a study of respiratory patients who were given range of motion exercises while in the hospital. The average stay was three days less than those without the exercises.

One challenge of traditional physiotherapy for asthma management is that dehydration happens easily. Asthmatics get dehydrated more easily, and it affects them in a worse way. It can even bring on an asthma attack. Any exercise plan must take this into account.

There are ways for physiotherapy to be used for asthma management. Certainly, there are other methods, and research may prove these methods have value. In the meantime, some methods are better saved for alternative methods to be used in addition to medications and proven physiotherapy treatments.
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