Obstructive sleep apnea is a sleeping disorder that occurs when breathing stops in repeated episodes during sleep. Apnea means lack of breathing. Structural obstructions in the nose or throat, such as enlarged tonsils or excess throat tissue, can block a person’s airway. During sleep, the airway muscles relax and the airway closes or is blocked. There are several chiropractic treatments that may help reduce the symptoms of sleep apnea.
Studies indicate that people with neck trauma, obesity, and neck kyphosis have an increased risk of developing obstructive sleep apnea. Neck kyphosis simply means an excess curvature of the neck in the flexed position. Obesity appears to contribute to kyphosis.
Talk to your chiropractor if your doctor has diagnosed you with sleep apnea. There may be several types of chiropractic treatments that can help relieve your symptoms. Chiropractic adjustments, massage, exercise, acupuncture, or a combination of treatments may help. Your chiropractor will use his or her hands or special tools to provide gentle joint mobilization and adjustments. This may help improve the function of the chest muscles and increase blood flow. Your chiropractor can teach you stretching and strengthening exercises for your neck. Acupuncture may be used to help open the airways.