The main respiratory muscle is the diaphragm ( Diaphragma), situated under the ribs like a parachute that separates the chest from the abdominal cavity, and it’s also attached to the spine. It is responsible for our posture and stabilization as well as pulling air into the lungs. Few people know that the diaphragm and pelvic floor muscles are designed to mirror each other.
When we inhale, the diaphragm contracts and moves down into the abdominal cavity to allow the lungs to expand.
Where does the disorder come from?
Although the diaphragm is the main respiratory muscle, there are several so-called."helpers’ which may impair its proper work to a greater or lesser extent. In the perfect breathing pattern, the diaphragm decreases when inhaling by pulling the lower ribs down and extending them sideways. This is an ideal situation to activate core muscles (deep muscles, stabilizing our spine and conditioning the work of muscles on the perimeter). In a few examples, we will examine how superficial muscles are able to tear down the breathing pattern.
Hyperactivity of superficial abdominal muscles in relation to the diaphragm.
When diaphragm’s function is taken over by superficial muscles, it can cause disorders of statics in the chest and pelvis. A disorder of this balance leads to: postural defects, increased pelvic anteversion. And consequently spinal pain .
Acquisition of part of the breathing function by the Sternocleidomastoid muscle (MOS)
Its name is derived from the muscle attachment points - the beginning of the muscle is formed by two heads attached to the sternum, collarbone. The muscle end lies on the surface of mamillary process of the temporal bone.
The acquisition of respiratory function by this muscle causes disorders of the correct positioning of the cervical spine. Disturbed breathing pattern can lead to an increase in the protraction of the head, changes in the structure of the cervical segment, which In turn can lead to pain in the cervical spine.
Disorder of the breathing pattern - a disorder of the work of the ribs.
Abnormality of the diaphragm function can also cause disorders in the work of the external intercostal muscles, which can lead to pain between the intercostal spaces resembling neuralgia.
These are only three, but how eloquent, cases of abnormal normal breathing pattern. Incorrect assessment of our clients can lead to incorrect workout selections. So let's be aware about what we should focus on at the beginning of our work with the client.
I believe that improving the breathing pattern will allow for better use of core muscles and therefore achieving better training results.