Take a Deep Breath and Reduce Your Neck Pain
Did you know that the way you breathe can contribute to neck pain? Yes, how you breathe can actually affect your neck and overall nervous system.
Unfortunately, most of us have fallen into the trap of shallow breathing—a habit that may cause tension in the neck and shoulders. Fortunately, there is a solution to this problem: deep diaphragmatic breathing. Let's dive into how this simple breathwork technique can alleviate your neck pain. This is especially useful for young moms carrying around small children - because we know the strain that can put on the shoulders and neck! Fear not, folks, we got you.
What is Diaphragmatic Breathing?
Diaphragmatic breathing is also known as “belly breathing” or “abdominal breathing.” This type of breathwork involves using your diaphragm (the dome-shaped muscle below your lungs) to take slow, deep breaths. When done correctly, diaphragmatic breathing engages your abdominal muscles and helps them relax; this in turn reduces tension in the neck and shoulders. Additionally, when you breathe more slowly than normal (which is usually 12-20 breaths per minute), your respiratory rate decreases—something that has been proven to have health benefits such as reducing stress levels and improving heart rate variability.
How Can I Get Started with Diaphragmatic Breathing?
If you are new to diaphragmatic breathing, it might seem daunting at first. But don’t worry! It doesn't take long to master this technique—all it takes is practice. To get started, try lying down on a flat surface and placing one hand just below your rib cage while the other rests on your stomach. Take deep breaths through your nose and focus on pushing out your stomach instead of lifting up your chest. This is key! You should feel both hands move outward as you inhale and inward as you exhale—this indicates that you are using the correct muscles for diaphragmatic breathing. Once you master this technique it will become second nature and reduce neck pain from shallow breathing habits.
Try practicing this technique every day (5 minutes is all you need!) and you’ll be shocked at the speed at which your neck pain will start to lessen, day by day.
Shallow breathing can lead to chronic tension in the neck and shoulders which makes everyday activities difficult or even painful. If this sounds familiar to you then take heart – with regular practice of diaphragmatic breathing exercises, not only will you find relief from neck pain but also many other physical ailments such as headaches or digestive issues may improve too! So, start taking slow deep breaths today and reduce neck pain tomorrow.
A physical therapist can be helpful in exploring this further; they have specialized training in helping people learn how to breathe correctly so they can experience all the wonderful benefits of deep belly breathing. And, even, better, your regular health insurance might even cover the cost to meet with a physical therapist to further support your pain management and breathing journey.