Continue reading to find out what the research revealed and why your breathing technique can affect your neck function.
What they found was that the pain intensity and the muscle activity were significantly decreased after the breathing re-education. There was also a significant increase in the range of motion of the neck after the re-education.
The researchers concluded that breathing re-education can lead to an improvement in neck range of motion and may result from the improvement in the diaphragm contraction or reduced activity of accessory muscles.
Here is my take on why breathing re-education can help neck pain
When we are breathing the diaphragm is the main muscle we should be using. Often during times of increased exertion there are accessory breathing muscles that help us to breathe. These muscles (Upper trapezius, anterior scalene, and sternocleidomastoid muscles) are located in the neck and upper back. If we are breathing poorly these muscles can become more active, used when they are not supposed to be used, go into spasm and end up causing neck pain and restricted movement of the neck. By retraining your breathing and using the diaphragm more effectively, these muscles will become less active and therefore the discomfort associated with these muscles will decrease and your neck motion could improve.
Do you think that you may be using your accessory breathing muscles too much? or not using your diaphragm enough? In my next article, I will explain a simple breathing technique for you to try. This Diaphragmatic breathing exercise will help re-educate your breathing.
Yeampattanaporn O, Mekhora K, Jalayondeja W, Wongsathikun J. Immediate effects of breathing re-education on respiratory function and range of motion in chronic neck pain. J Med Assoc Thai. 2014 Jul;97 Suppl 7:S55-9.