Breathing – it is kind of important

We take about 20,000 breaths a day so breathing well can help us in a lot of different ways. We see many people in the clinic and a common thread would be an inability to breathe with full, deep, slow and relaxing manner and  yet they never attribute this in any way to why they may be in pain.


So what does breathing have to do with knee pain, back pain, shoulder pain or pain in any other area of your body?
First and foremost if you aren’t breathing well, lets assume this to be having the ability to take nice slow, deep breaths in and out through the nose, then the chances are you don’t totally relax. If you aren’t relaxing properly then the chances are you aren’t sleeping as well and if you aren’t sleeping well you could your recovery ability is impaired. The relates to your ability to recover from your workout, your day at work or an injury.


With one of our clients who had a quite a significant rib flare and really struggled to breath as described above. We worked on some breathing drills and within a couple of weeks he was able to breath easily in this manner, had noted he was sleeping significantly better and the rib flare had gone. Both of these were helpful with regards to the reason he was in which was a shoulder issue.
Why is this helpful for a shoulder problem?
The shoulder joint, gleno-humeral joint to give it it’s correct name,   is formed by the scapula and humerus. The scapula sits on the rib cage and as such the shape of the rib cage can affect it’s ability to move well. This can lead to shoulder pain and neck pain (both of which he had). I say can as things are never a clear cut this will happen if X is present. That said if you are placing sufficient demands on the area, he was as a regular attendee at a CrossFit gym (#Bob’sGarage if you are interested and I can definitely recommend them, Bob really does take care of his members).
Poor breathing habits and the changes that can come with them can also have an affect on your knee. How can poor breathing affect my knee? I hear you ask.  Again this may not be a big issue for some but can become an issue once we start to place significant demands on the system.
The ribs and pelvis are attachment points for all the trunk musculature, think rectus abdominis, obliques etc, so if we end up in a postion where our ribs are flared and the pelvis is significantly anteriorly tilted. This compromises the ability of diaphragm, pelvic floor, abdominals and hamstrings to work well. This isn’t a big deal when we aren’t asking much of our bodies but the minute we start making larger and larger demands of ourselves the more it can play a role.
If a particular muscle can’t perform their job properly then other muscles will be recruited to help with the potential for issues in both due to them being over worked. With regards to the knee this may be because the hamstrings don’t work as well as they could to transmit force up into the hip and the quads are required to do more work which can eventually lead to knee pain.

At Performance Sports Therapy we always look for the true source of your pain! By addressing breathing and ribcage dysfunction we aim to build from the ground up with our rehabilitation. We aim to improve your breathing so as to aid your recovery by building from the ground up and thus ensuring you have the highest chances of success.

If you would like to enquire about an appointment then click HERE or to speak to one of our therapists HERE


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