What the research says:
- Thomas et al (2001) found that nearly one third of women and one fifth of men with asthma have symptoms suggestive of dysfunctional breathing
- Agache et al (2012) found that of those with asthma and symptoms of dysfunctional breathing, 17% exhibited dysfunctional breathing during exercise testing
- Grammatopoulou et al (2011) found that physiotherapy-based breathing retraining improved asthma control
- In my practice, many kids and adolescents are being referred for symptoms that are not in line with their lung function. These individuals frequently exhibit mouth breathing, accessory (neck and chest) muscle use and increased breathing rates
- Many people that come in are simply breathing inappropriately for their body's needs, resulting in troubling symptoms that includes shortness of breath
- Typically a few weeks of working on breathing awareness, breathing pattern retraining and integration of core stability and breathing strategies will produce a significant change in symptoms
To the point...
- It is important for asthma to be medically managed so talk to your doctor or respiratory educator to make sure you have an accurate diagnosis and are on the right medication for you
- While medications are critically important in managing airway inflammation and constriction, they aren't able to change the impact of poor breathing patterns
- If you have asthma, and continue to struggle with shortness of breath, despite good medical management, consider getting a breathing assessment to determine if your breathing pattern is limiting your quality of life
Check back in a few weeks for Part 2, where I will discuss some tips for breathing better with asthma.