According to the CDC, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) affects almost 16 million Americans. It secures the sixth-place ranking in global causes of death. Once diagnosed, an effective health routine is a key to the patient’s recovery. Patients don’t typically seek chiropractic spine care after being diagnosed with lung disease, but recent studies may change this perspective.

A systematic review conducted by Macquarie University’s Department of Chiropractic, revealed that incorporating Spinal Manipulative Therapy (SMT) in COPD patients’ routine will lessen symptoms associated with the disease.

This is the “first systematic review” to investigate the evidence for administering SMT in conjunction with other modalities, such as exercise, on people with COPD. During the study, several types of SMT (adjustments) were made to the spine, in conjunction with exercises.

This study found improvement in the following areas:

Function

Lung anatomy

Lung Anatomy

In patients with COPD, studies show increased upper back mobility after spinal manipulation according to studies, thus reducing the difficulty of breathing.

Movement

During spinal manipulative therapy, SMT, joint mobilization, and tissue therapy are used to improve mobility. According to doctors, focusing on spine flexibility “decreases pain and increases joint range of motion.” With those improvements, the patient establishes better movement of air through the lungs.

Lung Capacity

Evidence has proven that SMT increases the flexibility of the chest wall and upper back. These are the two major contributors to lung function. This results in easier breathing and greater lung capacity.

“In my over 25 years in practice”, says Dr. Shapiro, DC, of Tucker, GA, “I can confidently say that Chiropractic BioPhysics technique helps many patients with chronic debilitating pain. In addition, research has proven that an increase in the upper back curve negatively impacts lung capacity. This makes it more difficult for my patients in Tucker and Brookhaven locations to breathe whether they have COPD or not.”  Chiropractic BioPhysics technique improves spinal curvatures, which positively impact lung capacity, promoting healthy breathing. Improving your intake of oxygen affects the functioning of every organ in your body. 

Optimal Spine = Optimal Lung Capacity = Optimal Health !

The Use of Spinal Manipulative Therapy in the Management of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease:
A Systematic Review
The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine February 2016; Vol. 22; No. 2;, pp. 108–114
Research Credit: Jaxson Wearing, Sheridan Beaumont, Danielle Forbes, Benjamin Brown, Roger Engel:
From the Department of Chiropractic, Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia.

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