The influences between pain and breathing are multiple, particularly due to the anatomical links between the lower back and the diaphragm, which focuses on the vertebrae and even on certain back muscles. The pain can therefore change the way we breathe as occurs in the presence of acute pain that sometimes takes our breath away. And conversely, breathing can reduce pain by releasing some muscle tension, but also, breathing problems can weaken some muscles.
The main function of the diaphragm is to make us breathe, but also to stabilize the spine. We become aware of this breathing when we inspire by the belly.This swelling of the abdomen is related to changes in abdominal and thoracic pressure , not air moving to the belly. This mechanical feature of the diaphragm promotes a better stability of the back.
In the presence of back pain, be it new, recurrent or chronic, it is fundamental to consider the two-way influences between breathing and anatomy of the back: several studies demonstrate an association between breathing difficulties and pain in the back. back. Also, we know that the diaphragm of lumbar pain sufferers would not only move less well, but would demonstrate greater fatigability .
In addition, people with back pain breathe differently when they make an effort. It is therefore advisable to maintain good breathing capacity in the presence of a back problem, whether it is acute or chronic. Several activities can help you get there like swimming, singing, yoga and Pilates. You can also do more specific exercises, such as those suggested below.
To facilitate the movement of the diaphragm, inhale by inflating the belly without moving the upper body. Do it for about 30 seconds.
For more efficiency, repeat the exercise in the three basic positions, lying on your back, sitting and standing. Take care not to breathe too quickly or too deeply to avoid hyperventilation.
The muscles of inspiration are more important than those of expiration, in number and power. In the long run, especially if you are tense or stressed, you may forget to breathe out. A good exercise is to blow slowly, for several seconds, without moving your upper body, as if you wanted to extinguish a candle. It is important to stay upright and relaxed. To vary the level of difficulty, do the exercise lying on your back, or leaning against a wall.