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Asthma - Gasping for Fresh Air

According to the Better Health & Medical Network:

  • Asthma is a chronic lung disease with inflammation and or obstruction of the airways from the nose and mouth to the lungs
  • 4 million children under the age of 18 suffer with asthma
  • Asthma has increased 46% from 1982-1993 with an 80% growth in children under 18
  • In the 5-17 age group, asthma causes an annual loss of more than 10 million school days per year
  • Asthma accounts for more childhood hospitalizations than any other childhood disease
  • Children with asthma spend approximately 7.3 million days per year restricted to bed rest
  • In 1990, there were 7.1 million physician visits for asthma
  • Health care costs for asthma were estimated to be $6.2 billion, which is almost 1% of the total US health care costs
  • More than 5,200 Americans died from asthma in 1991

With the above statistics, we can see the seriousness of this condition, and the toll its taking on our children's lives If you have ever seen a child struggle for breath because of asthma, you can agree it is a frightening experience for both the child and observer. The helpless feeling causes parents to seek out treatments to relieve the symptoms and establish a somewhat normal lifestyle for their child. At some point, most parents become uneasy with the constant drug intake and are continuously looking for ways to regain normalcy for their child. As Doctors of Chiropractic our premise leads us to restoring optimal function of the nervous system, resulting in improved function for all body systems. We have all experienced the children coming into our offices who have suffered with chronic asthma for years. Children who then began the process of regeneration with the chiropractic adjustment and are living healthier, drug-free lives. We know what we know, and we live in a society that demands the proof, not just what we see day in and day out. This is what the ICPA is providing to you, its members: research and studies to objectively substantiate what we know to be so.

In the Journal of Vertebral Subluxation Research Vol. 1 No. 4, the ICPA in association with the Michigan Council of Chiropractors one such study demonstrated the positive effects of chiropractic care on 81 children with asthma.1 The results of the study concluded chiropractic care is a safe, drug free, health care approach where the patient perceived improved respiration, improved quality of life and less frequent asthma attacks. You would hope that "health care" providers would embrace this study with hope for this debilitating and seemingly non-relenting condition. Children's lives are at stake; this is the primary concern!

As experience has shown us, many medical studies (especially those evaluating new drugs) are often funded by drug manufacturers or other financially interested businesses. Needless to say, these multi-billion dollar pharmaceutical companies do not support research if it doesn't show drugs to be beneficial. This apparent conflict of interest has become so well known that the lead article in JAMA for the week of July 15, 1998 recommends that any financial interests of authors be clearly delineated for its readers.2 This will allow the readers to draw their own conclusions about conflict of interest in these studies.

So where does that lead us? Once again, folks, it is up to each and every one of us to do our part in our offices, communities and the profession at large, in getting the chiropractic message out to a sick and dying world. Please know, with your support, the ICPA is taking "what we as chiropractors have known all along" and producing the research to support it. Together, we will make it happen!

Originally Printed in: I.C.P.A. Newsletter July/August 1998


  1. Graham RL; Pistolese RA. An impairment rating analysis of asthmatic children under chiropractic care. J Vertebral Subluxation Res 1997; 1(4): 41-8
  2. Krimsky S, Rothenberg LS. Financial interest and its disclosure in scientific publications. JAMA 1998; 280 (3): 225-226