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Unlock Your Body’s Full Potential: The Surprising Connection Between Breathing, Movement, and Pain

diaphragm1Did you know your breathing could be the hidden cause of back pain, headaches, tight hamstrings, and even limited athletic performance? That’s because your breath is intimately connected to something called your diaphragm and pelvic floor – two muscle groups that control your body’s core strength and posture.

The Diaphragm and Pelvic Floor: Your Body’s Dynamic Duopelvic floor 16795 151

  • Your diaphragm, a dome-shaped muscle below your lungs, is your primary breathing engine.
  • Your pelvic floor is a sling of muscles at the base of your pelvis, supporting your organs and controlling bladder function.
  • These two powerhouses are linked: when your diaphragm contracts on inhale, your pelvic floor gently descends. On exhale, the diaphragm relaxes upward while your pelvic floor rebounds.
exhale Unit 11 r m1 19b cenveo scherper clear
inhale Unit 11 r m1 19a Cenveo scherper clear

Ribcage Rotation: The Key to Effortless Movement

This synchronized dance sets the stage for your ribcage’s fluid rotation:

  • Inhale: Diaphragm down, ribs expand outward, pelvis tilts slightly forward.
  • Exhale: Diaphragm relaxes upward, ribs rotate inward, pelvis tilts slightly back.

Why Does This Matter?

  • Pain Relief: Restricted ribcage rotation can lead to back pain or trouble simply putting on socks.
  • Flexibility: Can’t touch your toes? It might be your ribs and breathing hindering good hip movement.
  • Athleticism: Limited ribcage mobility hampers hamstring function, affecting everything from your sprint to your vertical jump.

Upper Body Impact: Headaches, Neck Pain, and More

Your upper ribs anchor muscles vital for head, neck, and shoulder health. Restricted breathing and ribcage movement can contribute to:

  • Headaches
  • Jaw pain
  • Numbness or tingling in arms/hands
  • Neck pain and stiffness

The Mid and Low Back Connection

Your powerful back muscles run the length of your spine. Tension here can cascade into neck issues, poor posture, and even impact your pelvic floor!

Is This You?

Do you experience any of the above? If so, specific exercises and techniques can help restore proper ribcage motion, in turn easing pain and improving your overall movement freedom.

Pinpointing the Problem: I start with a thorough assessment to uncover the root cause of your limitations. This guides the entire rehab process.

What level of rehab is your body ready for?

I take you back to basics in low-level rehab. I rebuild stability and eliminate your rigidity while gradually increasing your time under tension. Forcing those injured or weak muscles to handle the load properly, exposing and taking away any muscle guarding or “cheats”.

In mid-level rehab, I will put your body in a situation where there might be a little less time under tension (load) but I will start increasing your speed of movement.

When you progress to a higher-level rehab you will be moving more and trying to get the nervous system to be in a position where it has to problem-solve so the muscle can go from tense to relaxed but still achieve a stable, smooth speed of movement.

My goal is to start taking away your hesitation to move in certain ways (some hesitations you don’t even know you have) so we can ultimately achieve Uninhibited Movement: Think less while moving with more confidence.

"Cenveo - Drawing Diaphragm, rib cage and lungs during inhalation - English labels" at by Cenveo, license: Creative Commons Attribution
"Cenveo - Drawing Diaphragm, rib cage and lungs during expiration - English labels" at by Cenveo, license: Creative Commons Attribution
"OpenStax AnatPhys fig.11.19 - Muscles of the Pelvic Floor - English labels" by OpenStax, license: CC BY. Source: book 'Anatomy and Physiology',