man taking a deep breath

Chiropractic Care and Breathing

Many people suffer from some type of breathing problem. Allergies, smoking, chronic pulmonary disease, asthma…the list goes on. And while there are a wide variety of treatment options for these conditions, most of them involve taking medications that have side effects. A little known fact is – Chiropractic treatment is a proven way of helping to reduce and relieve the symptoms and side effects of certain breathing problems.

Think of the spinal cord as the root of a tree. While we cannot see the roots of a tree, we can see the portion of the tree that comes up out of the ground. We have all seen trees that are wilted with dry brown leaves, leaning off to the side like the tree is suffering and about to die. The fact is, the roots of this poor tree are probably suffering from some type of condition or damage that is causing the rest of the tree to also suffer. We can think of the body the same way – when something obvious is going on, perhaps on the outside, we should first begin looking at what is truly going on on the inside, or the parts of the body that we cannot see. In this case, the spine. It can hold the answers to why another part of the body, in this case, the lungs, are not functioning properly.

Thoracic Nerves

Some of the contributing factors to breathing issues, are problems with the thoracic nerves. These nerves are found in the chest. Considered to be ‘spinal nerves’, the thoracic nerves branch off from the vertebrae, and carry signals between the spinal cord and the rest of the body, including the lungs.

Because of the location of the thoracic nerves and the other parts of the body that they help control, if there is a misalignment within the spine, the thoracic nerves can be negatively impacted. Common results of such a misalignment include problems with the lungs expanding and contracting (or inhaling and exhaling). As well, if the thoracic nerves become pinched, the result will almost definitely be some type of breathing issue.

If the lungs are not able to expand and contract properly, it can often result in pneumonia, which is a very serious condition. And while many doctors will treat the symptoms before trying to figure out the cause, Chiropractic treatment is often not considered an option. But here at Broadway At Yew Chiropractic & Massage, we have successfully treated many patients who suffer from breathing problems.

Chiropractic Treatment for Breathing Problems

In Chiropractic treatment, it is common for patients to present with issues of pain and/or reduced range of motion. In particular, patients suffering from back or neck pain frequently also report some type of breathing problem. It’s a bit of a vicious circle – poor posture, neck or back pain can lead to breathing problems, and at the same time, breathing problems can actually cause poor posture, neck or back pain.

Within the thoracic region is the diaphragm – a large muscle between the lungs and the stomach. The diaphragm is controlled by the smaller muscles within the chest, and plays an integral part in the ability of the lungs to function properly. If the surrounding muscles are in distress, the diaphragm will not function the way it should. This will lead to pain and breathing issues. So what is the connection? As stated above, the thoracic nerves.

Let’s take a few steps backwards. In order for the rest of the body to function optimally, the spine must be in proper alignment so as to allow all of the nerves attached to it, to control their various ‘responsibilities’ (or organs) throughout the body. If there is even a slight problem in the spine, the result can be a domino effect of other symptoms and conditions, in this case, breathing problems.

So how can a Chiropractor help with breathing problems? Well, the obvious answer to that question is – a Chiropractor will begin by addressing the cause rather than the symptoms. Your Chiropractor will address issues within your thoracic spine. As noted, a subluxation within the spine can cause problems with the thoracic nerves, which are responsible for helping your diaphragm and lungs function properly.

As you can see, there are many contributing factors that can cause a person to suffer from breathing problems. And while there are many treatment options available, Chiropractic treatment is one of the safer options that is all natural and chemical free.

At Broadway At Yew Chiropractic & Massage, we believe in treating the whole body rather than just one area of the body. We also believe that treating the underlying cause of a condition should be the first step, rather than simply treating the symptoms of it.

Through a combination of Chiropractic treatment, massage from one of our RMTs, physical therapy, and lifestyle changes, we can offer you a package of treatments that will not only help to reduce your breathing problems, but also help to return your body to optimal health.


There are a lot of different causes and reasons for breathing problems, many of which are rooted in the health of the spine. If the spine is out of alignment, the nerves will suffer, and as a result, the organs that are controlled by the nerves will also suffer. In order to help our patients have good breathing and lung function, we believe in treating the spine first, to allow for the nerves to do their job properly, thereby reducing breathing problems, and helping to ward off future conditions that will have a negative impact on the lungs.


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