Do you suffer from chronic neck pain and stiffness? Do you get relief from massage or manual therapy only to feel your pain and stiffness come back within minutes?
You may be relying on the muscles in your neck and shoulders to help you breathe in, rather than relying on the diaphragm to do this.
If this is the case, every time you breathe in, your neck and shoulder muscles have to contract very strongly, to lift up your rib cage and all the organs in side it – a job that should be done mostly by the diaphragm muscle. This is enough to make anyone stiff and sore!
Handy tip: put your hands on your hips, then slide them up a bit to the bottom of your rib cage. Take a big breath in slowly and as you breathe in, you should feel your rib cage pushing out into your hands – as you breathe out slowly, you should feel you should feel your hands moving back in towards each other.
If you find it very difficult to feel your rib cage expand, you may need some help to loosen up this area and to make sure your diaphragm and its associated connective tissues, are ‘communicating’ well with the rest of your body.
To have your breathing mechanism assessed, treated and home exercise suggestions, make an appointment with one of the osteopaths at NSO