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Somatic Dyspnea and the Orthopedics of Respiration

Author's Abstract:   Several brief cases are presented in which the symptom of dyspnea was alleviated or abolished following the correction of vertebral subluxation complex or other somatic dysfunctions. In discussing such cases, the term "somatic dyspnea" is suggested to denote air hunger or shortness of breath related to somatic dysfunction. Somatic dyspnea is a condition, which may accompany other causes of dyspnea (lung pathology, psychogenic or "functional" causes, etc., or it can exist alone. In our chiropractic practice, most somatic dyspnea is seen as a secondary condition in patients presenting primarily with orthopedic complaints. When the symptom is secondary, the patient will often not mention it until an examination procedure reproduces it or treatment causes it to improve or disappear. The response to manipulative therapy is sometimes so dramatic and rapid that a strong linkage between the dyspnea and the primary presenting complaint is suggested.160

Masarsky CS, Weber M   Chiropractic Technique, 1991; 3: 26-29