Breathing is the most important process that the body needs to complete.
On average we breathe some 20,000 times per day and the body ensures the process is uninterupted via changes in muscular recruitment. The diaphragm, which is the body’s primary muscle of inspiration often becomes restricted. The seated position often facilitates contraction of the abdominal muscles as can long bouts of stress and over exercise and the diaphragm can lose its optimal pattern of recruitment for inspiration.
Muscles such as the scalenes, sternocleidomastoid, and pectoralis minor muscles often become overworked and key changes to the pelvis and lower back occur as the diaphragm has a synergistic relationship with the pelvic floor, Transversus Abdominus, Multifidus and other muscles. Inverted breathing patterns can occur which can create postural dysfunction, impair movement, increase ventiliation, increase anxiety and create hormonal changes.
Working with breathing patterns requires neuromuscular therapy and specific breathing re-training strategies to help deal with these issues. Appropriate exercises can also enhance breathing pattern issues.
Chaitow, L. Breathing Pattern Disorders, Motor Control and Lower Back Pain. Journal of Osteopathic Medicine. 2004; 7 (1) 33-40