What is the Role of Proper Breathing in Core Function?
It is so important that your deep core muscles function properly. Many things can disrupt this automatic function including injuries such as a fall, back pain, pregnancy, delivery, surgery, improper lifting, stress or constipation.
The respiratory diaphragm (the breathing muscle under the rib cage) and pelvic floor muscles are parallel to one another and work like a piston. During normal inhalation, the diaphragm and pelvic floor descend or fall. During normal exhalation, the diaphragm pulls the pelvic floor up with it and provides a lift to support the organs and pelvis. When this function is disrupted, a person is unable to breathe deeply, the bladder or bowel is "confused" and compensations can arise that cause pain and dysfunction.
The role of breathing properly is crucial if a person is experiencing bladder or bowel dysfunction. Since a person does not have conscious control of the bowel or bladder and through a series of complex and reflexive nerve pathways, the bladder receives a message from the pelvic floor. For example, if the pelvic floor muscles are weak or relaxed, the bladder gets a message to contract and “thinks” it is time to void. This can occur if there is extra weight on the pelvic floor, from gravity or during transitional movements such as getting out of chair. Likewise, if the pelvic floor muscles are too tight, or contracted because of muscle spasms, the bladder or bowel is unable to contract fully to urinate or defecate, resulting in a slow or weak urine stream or constipation.
Normal breathing and pelvic floor function is essential to overall health. Manual therapy by a qualified women’s health physical therapist to release what is tight or in dysfunction may be the solution to many voiding dysfunctions. Even practitioners of yoga and Pilates have noticed deeper breathing and more effective exercise after manual therapy to address the diaphragm and breathing dysfunction.
Getting a deep breath is so important for your health, stress levels and overall well-being. Healthy Core physical therapists are here to help RESTORE THE CORE to normal function.