We breathe about 20,000 times in a 24 hour cycle, yet many of us rarely think about it.
Breathing should be automatic, but there are many ways that having an inefficient breathing pattern can affect our musculoskeletal health.
Your rib cage should expand in all directions with an inhale and drop with an exhale.
When this doesn’t happen, or your ribs only expand in front, or only up in the upper chest, this pattern can be a source of neck and back pain. Tightness in the muscles of the back or pelvic floor can restrict this movement. And, the opposite is also true; if your ribs don’t expand in all directions, the muscles attached to them never get lengthened to their full capacity, and that tightness also can perpetuate your symptoms.
What can be done to change this? PT can help! Your therapist can watch and feel how you breathe, assess for rib and/or muscle stiffness, treat you with hands on techniques to help restore movement, and coach you through a breathing pattern that can ease your pain.
Take a breath. We got this.