About fifteen million Americans require asthma management through physiotherapy programs. There are several medical and physiotherapy treatments which have been successfully employed to manage asthma issues. Recently, there have been concerns raised over the use of some questionable treatment.
Some physiotherapy clinics insist asthma can be controlled through physiotherapy programs. Syptoms like breathlessness and wheezing can apparently be alleviated by physiotherapy. Massages are also said to relieve the same symptoms in both young and old patients.
Acupuncture has also been used as an alternative treatment method to alleviate asthma symptoms. Interestingly, this technique has actually been beneficial for asthmatics.
It has been proven that acupuncture boosts the immune system to fight diseases better. This is an important criteria for asthma management. Common colds or influenza only worsen an asthmatic’s condition. Acupuncture, if it reduces the chances of catching a cold, is definitely advantageous in such situations. However, acupuncture has yet not been accepted as a stand-alone treatment and is used only in conjunction with other established methods of asthma management.
There are other methods used by acupuncturists in asthma management such as burning herbs over the acupuncture points, giving the patient specific massages, or using breathing exercises. These treatments, again, have not been proven useful.
Asthma treatments are also carried out by chiropractors who rely on spine manipulative methods. This treatment method has received mixed responses. A study was carried out with two groups of asthma patients. One group was given fake manipulations, while the other group was given actual spinal manipulations. The results showed hardly any difference between both groups. According to these results, chiropractors cannot really help asthma patients with their treatments.
Another study on chiropractic treatments was also carried out. The progress of 81 asthmatic children at a chiropractic clinic was followed. The study showed that children undergoing the treatment had 45% fewer attacks and 30% of the children could reduce the amount of medication they had to take to control their asthma. Because of these two conflicting studies, it is undetermined if chiropractic treatments are actually useful.
For physiotherapists who want to continue in asthma management, there is a specialty certification. They can be trained to become Certified Asthma Educators and deal with patients. There services are paid for by Medicare and Medicaid.
It has been propounded that asthma patients who have been hospitalized should undergo physiotherapy. Asthma patients who were made to do motion exercises during their hospital stay, on average remained hospitalized three days fewer than patients who were not given exercises.
Traditional physiotherapy however faces a problem of dehydrating asthma patients. Asthmatics can be seriously affected by dehydration, which occurs faster for them. Sometimes it may even induce an attack. As a result, physiotherapists must keep this in mind when giving exercises.
There are several methods available to treat asthma, and they may be valuable, but physiotherapy also has a toe-hold in the field of asthma management. However, as long as they can’t be proved useful, it is better to use alternative methods in conjunction with traditional management methods.