Today’s Ounce of Prevention addresses poor breathing patterns. I know, breathing doesn’t sound very important or exciting, but doing it wrong could directly cause neck pain, back pain, low energy, and headaches. Doing it right not only supplies oxygen to our system but also trains stability especially for the low back. Dr. Karel Lewit, a manual therapy legend, once said “If breathing is not normalized – no other movement pattern can be”. So, it’s important!
There’s an easy way to generally check your breathing. Lie on your back on a hard surface. With one hand over your chest and the other on your abdomen, take a deep breath. Are you filling your chest or abdomen more? With normal patterns your belly should fill on the front and sides like a balloon when you breathe instead of your chest rising. If you fail this test, stand up and look in the mirror. Your shoulders will likely rise dramatically with every breath in.
Faulty breathing patterns are either learned improperly during infant development or brought on by poor posture or injury. Usually, belly breathing can be retrained with simple exercises done repeatedly to form a new habit. However, some individuals with diaphragm dysfunction, spinal stiffness or chronic injury may not be able to fix this problem without treatment.
Now, go check out your own breathing patterns, and consider them as a possible contributor to your aches and pains. IT”S IMPORTANT! Restoring proper movement patterns is one of our specialties at Cumberland Chiropractic and Sports Medicine. We’d love to help!