A Sanksrit Proverb claims, “Breath is life, and if you breathe well you will live long on earth.” It is amazing how much truth is packed into this statement.
Breathing keeps humankind alive and well. When breath ceases, so does life. But, it should be noted that there is a way of breathing that is unhealthy and causes illnesses referred to as Breathing Pattern Disorders.
Are you familiar with Breathing Pattern Disorders, or BPDs? Read on to discover what they are, what symptoms they cause, and how to get relief from them with physiotherapy.
What are Breathing Pattern Disorders (BPDs)?
Breathing Pattern Disorders are dysfunctional patterns of breathing. BPDs are often the result of hyperventilation, or of taking in more air than the body needs. Breathing primarily in the upper chest can be a sign of a Breathing Pattern Disorder. Interestingly, BPDs are not caused by lack of oxygen, but by low levels of carbon dioxide.
Breathing Pattern Disorders are not to be taken lightly; they come with bothersome symptoms that can seriously decrease a person’s quality of life. As stated in the International Journal of Sports Physical Therapy, “Breathing Pattern Disorders have been shown to contribute to pain and motor control deficits, which can result in dysfunctional movement patterns.” Unfortunately, those with dysfunctional movement patterns have a higher risk of injury than those with normal movement patterns. Besides causing motor control problems, pain, and risk of injury, BPDs can also cause anxiety, brain fog, fatigue, abdominal bloating, palpitations, muscular fatigue, and headaches.
Diaphragmatic Breathing is Key to Functional Movement
Is a Breathing Pattern Disorder affecting your ability to move functionally? Are you experiencing other symptoms of BPDs? Do you want to ease the pain associated with dysfunctional movement? If so, you will have to learn diaphragmatic breathing.
Non-diaphragmatic breathing may “result in muscular imbalance, motor control alterations, and physiological adaptations that are capable of modifying movement.” Conversely, diaphragmatic breathing helps stabilize the spine and correct postural problems, which can facilitate functional movement patterns and motor control skills. Without a doubt, diaphragmatic breathing is the key to restoring functional movement in someone with disordered breathing patterns.
Physiotherapy Can Restore Healthy Breathing and Movement
Although you may be comforted to know that diaphragmatic breathing can help restore functional movement and lessen pain, you may feel a little overwhelmed at the prospect of learning an entirely new way of breathing.
Here is some great news: you do not have to learn diaphragmatic breathing on your own; a physiotherapist can guide you through this process. Because physiotherapists are experts at teaching people correct ways of breathing and moving, physiotherapy may very well be the best choice for correcting Breathing Pattern Disorders and improving functional movement.
Don’t let dysfunctional breathing steal your quality of life for one more day. Reach out to a physiotherapist so you can learn to breathe—and live—again.