How dysfunctional breathing might be a root cause of a variety of common upper body pain problems and injuries
Posted Jul 13 2009 11:39pm
The Respiration Connection by Paul Ingraham, Registered Massage Therapist
Many common aches and pains, particularly around the head, neck and shoulders, may be caused in part by inefficient breathing. This can be a difficult problem to understand, let alone repair, and it is theoretical — no better than an educated guess. There is little or no direct scientific evidence to support the hypothesis. Most clients need some convincing before they believe that their chronic headaches, numb hands, or debilitating back pain might actually caused by a respiratory problem, and all the more so because the breathing exercises required to address the problem can be tedious. On the bright side, there are likely to be some benefits to such exercises regardless of whether or not they solve any pain problems.
This article will trace a plausible series of steps connecting respiratory dysfunction to a constellation of painful upper body conditions: from garden variety stiffness to seemingly unlikely and severe consequences such as rotator cuff injuries, whiplash and thoracic outlet syndrome.