Faulty Breathing Patterns and Pain

by Dr. P. Carl Rafey 1. August 2014 09:03

The diaphragm is large muscle used mostly for inspiration and expiration. Respiration consists of the diaphragm lowering and rising, pulling air in and pushing air out. Most of the movement should be in the belly and not in the chest. If the diaphragm is not functioning correctly the body will recruit accessory muscles to aid in respiration. The scalenes and sternocleidomastoid muscles are recruited to lift up the clavicle and first rib. The muscles will eventually begin to pull the head forward and cause an anterior head posture, which can lead to chronic tension headaches. The trapezius and levator scapulae are also drafted to help expand the lungs if the diaphragm is not doing its job. The scapula will begin to be pulled up and out. If the scapula and humerus (upper bone of the arm) are not moving in sync this can lead to shoulder problems.

Though the main action of the diaphragm is respiration,the diaphragm has another function, spinal stabilization. Research shows that faulty respiration can weaken the deep stabilization system of the spine, which will make the low back more prone to injury. To improve your respiration try some breathing exercises. Lie down on your back and focus on expanding your belly all around your waistline and not letting your chest rise. Also try this sitting up straight with your shoulders back and head retracted.

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