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Narinder asked the Guru about her intermittent breathing restrictions

Jun 30th, 2014

Hello Guru,
I have been experiencing intermittent breathing restrictions over the past 18
months. I can’t seem to be able to get a full breath.
I’ve had x-rays, CT scan which did not identify any issues. Osteopathy didn’t
really help.
I’ve been having sports massage on my back which usually relieves the
condition temporarily. I’ve noticed that swimming exacerbates the issue (i.e.
not during but afterwards).
I also have a “loose right shoulder” which could be related. I’ve noticed
that I have very tight lattisimus dorsi and am very tender on the side of the
ribs (under the arms).
Any ideas?

The Guru Responded:

Hi Narinda

Breathing, funnily enough, is quite complicated stuff.

Osteopathy and SM are great starting points, but unless there is any carry over from session to session – and without an appropriate home exercise program to maintain what you’ve been given by your osteo or SM, then you’re pretty much back to square 1.

All the things that you notice like your lats and wobbley shoulder are all part and parcel of it.

Breathing retraining is key. It’s fairly easy to identify of your an apical breather, a gasper or a basal puller! And it’s really satisfying doing something to help correct this.

Is sounds as if you’ve nothing pathologically wrong with you – which is great. I think it’s often forgotten that your diaphragm is a muscle, and like any other muscle, it needs to be retrained.

There are some fairly decent breathing exercises clips out there on the web which your sound try – little and often is key. They won’t be specifically designed for you but I’m sure they’ll help.

We think breath retraining is super important – we’ve even got a Physio who specialises in it! Breathing patterns are also really important for those people who have chronic low back pain….

Hope this helps

The Guru
Six Physio

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