But what if the rib cage itself is restricted and prevents good airflow, expansion, or contraction of the lungs?
Without expansion, the body is forced to resort to rapid shallow breathing which leads to hyperventilation, poor use of oxygen, health related respiratory issues and disease, increased cardiac demand and increased sympathetic drive, anxiety,
For the rib cage to expand and contract, it has to integrate with the pelvis, spine, neck and cranium in the correct manner. The diaphragm must be able to contract and relax to its fullest potential. This is done through
proper joint positioning and muscle inhibition/facilitation which then allows the ligaments, tendons, connective tissue, cartilage and joint surfaces to move through a full range of motion without undue stress occurring on these structures.
One simple example to think about for comparison: if the hip has limited range of motion because the pelvis is tipped too far forward, this can lead to hip impingement, SI joint pain, labral tears, pelvic incontinence…the list goes on
Increased compression of the mid back with lack of ability to expand our lungs can lead to increased sympathetic fight or flight stimulus causing poor sleep, anxiety, panic, and pain. How many of you suffer from discomfort
between your shoulder blades or feel tension in the upper shoulders? This is exactly my point.
So, breath is the driver. Breathing is vitally important for overall health. Movement driven by proper breathing allows for compression,
expansion, and alternating movement from side to side in a controlled manner. This creates proper positioning, which is the only way to manage pain long term.