The body requires the heart in the cardiovascular system to pump oxygen-riched blood to all the muscles, tissues, and organs to keep it functioning. While the heart pumps the blood to the body, the lungs in the pulmonary system help the body by making the host breathe in the fresh air, remove the gases from the body, and helps delivers oxygen to the body cells. When issues begin to affect the lungs and the heart, it can cause the individual to develop cardiovascular disorders and a lung condition known as asthma to disrupt the body and cause pain to the individual. Today’s article looks at what asthma is, how it affects the body, and how somatic issues from asthma can affect the cardiovascular system. We refer patients to certified providers specializing in cardiovascular and pulmonary treatments that help those suffering from asthma attacks. We also guide our patients by referring to our associated medical providers based on their examination when it’s appropriate. We find that education is the solution to asking our providers insightful questions. Dr. Alex Jimenez DC provides this information as an educational service only. Disclaimer
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What Is Asthma?
Have you experienced chest pains that are causing issues in your arms? How about the shortness of breath that causes you to have difficulty breathing? Do you have trouble sleeping due to waking up coughing or breathing rapidly? These are the signs and symptoms of you experiencing an asthma attack. Research studies have defined an asthma attack as a chronic disease that causes inflammatory narrowing of the air pathways to the lungs. When a person starts to suffer from an asthma attack, it can cause the lung capacity volume to be weakened and produce an excessive amount of mucus in the airways. Many factors like genetics, allergens, obesity, stress and environmental exposures can trigger a person to have an asthma attack. When these factors begin to affect the lungs, it can cause an overlap of other risk profiles to affect the body.
How Does It Affect The Body?
The lungs help the body intake fresh air and exhale the gases. The lungs provide an autonomic innervation that has a typical casual relationship to the autonomic innervation of the heart. This causal relationship also works with the parasympathetic innervation of the vagus nerve and the prominent sympathetic innervation of the spine’s thoracic region. With the lungs providing the functionality of breathing in the body, it is considered a musculoskeletal act in the service of a visceral system requirement that straddles the somatovisceral interface. Regarding individuals with asthma, research studies have shown that it can cause somatic symptoms like chest pains, cold hands and feet, and blurred vision. These somatic symptoms can affect the lungs and increase the risk associated with cardiovascular diseases.
The Difference Between Somatic & Visceral Pain- Video
Have you noticed chest pain frequently occurring and causing muscle stiffness in your arms? Are you gasping constantly that it irritates your throat? How about the shortness of breath that makes it difficult to sleep? You could be experiencing an asthma attack that can trigger somatovisceral issues that affect the body. The video above explains the difference between somatic and visceral pain affecting the body. Somatic pain is when the muscles trigger the organs, while visceral pain is the opposite, where the internal organs affect the muscles. When asthma affects the airway muscles, it can cause the heart muscles to work extra harder, causing chest and upper-mid back pains in the body.
Asthma Causing Somatic Issues To The Cardiovascular System
The heart and lungs have a casual relationship as the lungs help the body to breathe in the fresh air, and the heart takes the oxygen-riched blood to supply the rest of the organs, muscles, and tissues in the body. Through the sympathetic system, the heart communicates with the parasympathetic, sympathetic, and sensory pathways that allow the coordination of the cardiac tone, causing the heart to accelerate its beat in the body. When an asthma attack begins to affect the cardiovascular system, research studies have found that the sudden restriction of the airflow pathways from an asthma attack is a development for upcoming cardiovascular issues. The heart muscles will coincidentally begin to strain as the sensory innervations cause immense pain. The sudden constriction of the airways during an asthma attack can also affect the thoracic spine and reach the heart. One of the ways to reduce cardiovascular issues that affect the thoracic spine is spinal manipulation. Research studies have found that manipulating the thoracic spine can help increase the motion of the thoracic cage and enhance the arterial airflow supply to regulate heartbeat and lung capacity.
Asthma is a chronic disorder that causes inflammation and narrows the air pathways that restrict oxygen from entering the heart. The lungs and the heart have a casual relationship to the body, providing oxygen and blood flow to the organs, muscles, and tissues to function correctly. When exposed to environmental factors, it can cause restriction to the airway pathways to the lungs, causing wheezing and coughing motion that can cause somatic visceral dysfunction in the cardiovascular system and the thoracic spine. When this happens, treatments like chiropractic therapy can manipulate the thoracic spine and restore the air pathways to improve cardio and lung capacity.
Hashmi, Muhammad F, et al. “Asthma.” In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL), StatPearls Publishing, 16 Feb. 2022, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK430901/.
Kaminskyj, Adrienne, et al. “Chiropractic Care for Patients with Asthma: A Systematic Review of the Literature.” The Journal of the Canadian Chiropractic Association, Canadian Chiropractic Association, Mar. 2010, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2829683/.
Pollevick, Matias E, et al. “The Relationship between Asthma and Cardiovascular Disease: An Examination of the Framingham Offspring Study.” Chest, American College of Chest Physicians, Apr. 2021, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8501004/.
Ringsberg, K C, et al. “Psychological Differences between Asthmatics and Patients Suffering from an Asthma-like Condition, Functional Breathing Disorder: A Comparison between the Two Groups Concerning Personality, Psychosocial and Somatic Parameters.” Integrative Physiological and Behavioral Science : the Official Journal of the Pavlovian Society, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 1993, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/8117581/.
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The information herein on "Asthma Causing Issues In The Cardiovascular System" is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional, or licensed physician, and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make your own healthcare decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified healthcare professional.
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Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, CCST, IFMCP*, CIFM*, ATN*
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Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, CIFM*, IFMCP*, ATN*, CCST
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