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Take a breath in. Did your shoulders raise up towards your ears? Okay, now you’re thinking about it… try again. Did you want to raise your shoulders up and expend your chest? What if I told you that you’ve been breathing wrong (Morpheus voice)? Well, if you’re taking a breath and expanding your chest up and out… guess what. You’re doing it wrong! This is a fundamental motion that a large majority of people do incorrectly. Just think of the 1000’s of times you do that everyday… incorrectly. Okay, so what does it mean to change this pattern?

When you breath incorrectly you have to use accessory inspiratory muscles. These muscles like your upper traps and scalenes are not supposed to be working all day. They’re there for when you’re running from an army of Mr. Smith’s (I’m stuck on the matrix references) and need to get more oxygen in, faster. The main function of these muscles is movement of your head and neck during the day. So when those muscles put in the extra work to lift the rib cage all day they get tight. Tightness in these muscles can cause everything from neck pain to numbness and tingling in your hands. Not to mention the decrease in athletic performance.

When you breath in you should be using your diaphragm. The diaphragm sits around the bottom of your rib cage and expands downwards as your take a breath in. So that means your belly should expand as your breath in. Think of your belly as a barrel that expands in 4 directions: forward, backwards, and outwards to both sides. When we are able to use the diaphragm properly we can relax the muscles around your neck. As we relax muscles around the neck we simultaneously relax some muscles around the lower back as well. As those muscles relax the inner deep core gets activated. These are the stabilizing muscles for your spine. When activated we can generate a stable base for which human movement comes from properly breathing. As you come in for treatments at Hybrid Spine and Sport you can expect that respiration will be tested and you will be given some drills to help correct that pattern.

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