Are You Breathing the Right Way? How Breathing with Your Diaphragm Can Support Your Neck and Back

There is such a thing as “dysfunctional breathing,” and you’re probably doing it without even knowing. “Dysfunctional breathing” often describes upper chest breathing, breath holding, and breathing too deeply or erratically. From a chiropractic lens, your breathing has great impact on the muscles in your body that support you – your head, neck, shoulders, and low back specifically. If you find yourself with any of these dysfunctional breathing habits, Rochester chiropractors can help coach you to use your diaphragm when breathing, alleviating the amount of strain being put on your neck and back.

What Optimal Breathing Looks Like

The diaphragm is necessary for respiration and core stability – actively supporting the trunk of the body. Your diaphragm performs a dual role of respiration and stabilization simultaneously – contracting and flattening. Optimal breathing is when the diaphragm is doing the work when breathing, instead of your upper chest. When breathing with your upper chest, you strain those associated muscles because they aren’t designed to support respiration like your diaphragm is. This strain can cause soreness or discomfort in your chest or neck area. Chiropractors in Rochester can often tell if you have dysfunctional breathing habits by observing if a patient breathes from their chest rather than their abdomen, if the patient frequently yawns, nasal flaring, and/or uses their mouth to breathe.

What Can a Chiropractor Do for You?

Dysfunctional breathing is often a sign of poor balance and stability in patients. Working with a chiropractor, patients can be coached on how to breathe using their diaphragm – often described as “belly breathing.” During your chiropractic appointments, techniques often used by chiropractors require abdominal expansion and practice of belly breathing frequently throughout the day. Aside from training proper breath, chiropractors can support a patient with dysfunctional breathing habits by providing them with stability exercises. By consistently practicing the use of the abdominal muscles, patients will re-establish a balanced co-activation of the diaphragm, as it supports trunk function and the respiratory system.

If you have dysfunctional breathing habits and are looking to retrain your body to breathe properly, look no further than your 2019 Rochester’s Choice Chiropractic office. Feel free to call us at 585-321-3200 or via our website to create an individualized treatment plan towards better health. Our goal is to provide the care that will promote your return to balance and health.

 

Article Written by: Amanda DiBenedetto

Thumbnail image from: https://sesamestreetincommunities.org/activities/teaching-belly-breathing/