If you’ve ever experienced a time when you found it difficult to breath you know exactly how essential a deep breath is and how quickly panic can set in when you can’t inhale fully. Breathing is not only necessary to life but during exercise it allows your body more control, keeping you calm and alert throughout your workout so you can actively engage all your muscles. Breathing properly also helps your muscles produce less carbon dioxide, improves blood circulation and heart health.
While in PT your therapist will help you learn the proper way to breathe during your exercise which will include exhaling during exercise exertion and inhaling on the relax phase. For instance, while lifting a weight you will be cued to exhale and then inhale while lowering the weight. Your therapist may also need to remind you not to hold your breath on exertion. Making a habit of holding your breath can cause your blood pressure to rise possibly resulting in dizziness, nausea or even a heart attack. Instead, use your exercise as a time to practice deep breaths.
Learning to breath properly from the diaphragm is also important and can have some surprising uses in physical therapy. Sometimes if a patient is having an over reaction to touch due to pain, it can be difficult for a clinician to work on their muscles or assess exactly where their pain is originates from. Taking a few minutes to breath from the diaphragm can calm their reaction and allow a therapist to utilize massage, passive stretching, and other hands on interventions. Diaphragm breathing also helps you develop more core and pelvic floor stability which can reduce overuse of back muscles and ultimately reduce back pain.
Feel free to ask your physical therapy clinician if you’re breathing optimally and if they have any suggestions for improvements so that you get the most out of your physical therapy session and have more strength progressions and ultimately less pain so you can return to doing the things that are important to you.
It is time to take care of yourself. To request an appointment, click here for Elite Relief, or call directly to one of our three locations during regular business hours:
Cool Springs: 615-224-9810
Spring Hill: 931-489-2022
Disclaimer: The information in this blog is intended to be informational only, and is not intended to be used in lieu of medical care. Consult a doctor or a physical therapist before attempting treatment on your own.