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Asthma and back pain

Have you ever thought that your 'under control' asthma may be contributing to back pain? You may be surprised to see the connection.

Asthma is a chronic lung disease characterized by episodes of reversible airflow obstruction and increased responsiveness of the airways to a variety of stimuli. The most common being allergic asthma which is spasming of the airways induced by inhaled antigens, and is usually found in children with a personal or family history of allergic disease such as eczema or hay fever.

The sympathetic nerve supply to the lungs originates from the first six thoracic vertebra (T1-6) and the airways from vertebra T3-10. Irritation of the lungs and airways from asthma results in irritation of these nerve pathways back to the spinal levels from which they originate. This irritation causes stimulation of nerve endings around the vertebral levels in the surrounding soft tissues and results in tightening of the supporting muscles. As muscles tighten they start to restrict underlying joint mobility and over a period of time result in stiff, tight movement in the mid back.

Because musculoskeletal health is reliant on good flexibility and movement, as spinal areas become restricted due to tightening they are less able to handle tension from everyday stresses such as work and sport. This makes them more prone to injury and aches and pains either gradually occurring or from trivial activity.

When the mid back becomes tight and restricted this can then affect normal mobility in supporting areas such as the neck, shoulders, and lower back. Osteopathy can help with all of these problems using soft tissue massage, joint mobilization and manipulation, and advice on self-stretches and management.

Alongside osteopathic treatment, management of your asthma will also aid in a healthier pain free lifestyle.

Any questions about this or any other aches and pains, please contact Craig or Fionna at Balance Osteopathy Welcome Bay on 5448479.

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