4 Ways Asthma Can Cause Neck Pain and How Chiropractic Care Can Help

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As if not being able to breathe isn’t bad enough, there are other complications that people with asthma suffer from as a result of this condition.

Neck, chest, and shoulder pain is a common symptom of people with asthma, even when they are not having an asthma attack.

While there are many traditional medical treatments for those who suffer from asthma and associated neck pain, there are also homeopathic remedies for asthma and chiropractic methods that can be extremely helpful.


There can be several causes of neck pain in asthmatic patients. Neck pain associated with asthma just doesn’t come from musculoskeletal complications; in fact, many asthma sufferers also have issues with inflammation, side effects from medications, and stressed muscles.

1.) Musculoskeletal dysfunction

According to a study published in 2011, patients with asthma hold their heads and shoulders forward and have a lower chest wall expansion, Sufferers also display decreased shoulder rotations and lessened flexibility in the thoracic spine.

As a result of this posture, there is a significant increase in neck pain in patients who suffer from mild and severe asthma symptoms.

2.) Inflammation

Cytokines are the cause of inflammation in the airways of asthma sufferers. Inflammation, swelling, and increased mucus production work together to narrow the airways during an asthma attack, making it difficult to breathe. The inflammation caused by asthma can also affect the muscles and tissues in the neck, shoulders, and upper back, causing pain and swelling even when the patient isn’t experiencing asthma symptoms.

3.) Medication side effects

Steroids used in inhalers and other medications given to asthma patients can have serious side effects on the bones, skin, and muscles. Corticosteroids are known to cause bone density loss (osteoporosis) which can lead to fractures and pain. Muscle weakness caused by corticosteroids is linked to a decrease in adrenal gland hormones and can affect the neck and other parts of the body.

4.) Stressed and pulled muscles

The strain put onto the muscles in the neck, shoulders, chest, and upper back during an asthma attack can have long-term side effects. During a severe asthma attack, the closing of the airway can cause panic or anxiety in the sufferer. Tensing of the muscles during a fight-or-flight situation like this is normal, but the strain of that tenseness may take hours or even days to subside. Coughing and wheezing associated with an asthma attack can also cause strain to the muscles and tissues in the neck and chest.


Sometimes the treatments for asthma are actually the cause of neck pain, so getting cortisone shots or taking more medications will likely not help in the long-term. Chiropractic care and homeopathic remedies for asthma in West Bloomfield, MI are excellent, non-invasive alternatives.

Massage therapy can reduce pain and swelling by increasing circulation and blood flow to targeted muscle groups. With increased blood flow to these areas, inflammation goes down, and the muscles can relax. This can address the stressed and pulled muscle complications in the neck associated with asthma.

Lifestyle changes such as diet and exercise can also help sufferers reduce their asthma symptoms. Losing weight, limiting inflammation-causing foods, and exercise regimens that increase circulation around the body are all ways asthma sufferers can find relief.

Gentle spinal manipulation of the neck, head, shoulders, and upper back can fix a lot of the musculoskeletal dysfunction caused by asthma. Better posture and improvements in the nervous system through proper alignment can reduce asthma symptoms over time and reduce or even eliminate neck pain. Spinal manipulation can also help improve complications from allergies, which can be triggers for asthma attacks.

There are also some all-natural homeopathic sprays and drops that your chiropractor can recommend to manage asthma symptoms in minor events, or even stop an asthma trigger before it gets worse. These sprays and drops do not have the side effects of steroid medications and could be a better choice for long-term usage.