The way we breathe and the condition of our bodies are more connected than you might think. Problems with breathing patterns and impairments in posture and stability of the body are often associated with painful conditions like low back pain.
The reason is that many of the muscles used for controlling posture and stability are the same as those used in respiration. These include the diaphragm, which rests between the lungs and abdomen, and the pelvic floor muscles underneath the pelvis. For this reason, maintaining optimal posture and stability, as well as respiration, is an important component of general health.
At the same time, being impaired in any of these areas can affect the others, and this can make exercise especially challenging. Exercise increases the demands of respiration such as while jogging, while moving our limbs increases the demands for posture and stability. This shows how the two are connected, and must be addressed in patients that have issues with one or the other—or both.
Using a balloon while performing certain exercises is one possible solution that may help patients with a wide variety of conditions, such as low back pain, asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder, knee pain and sciatica. Studies have shown that using a balloon can improve function and decrease pain in patients with a number of different conditions like these.
One effective exercise we use at Dynamic Sports Physical Therapy in New York City is called the Quadruped Knee Lift with Balloon Exhale. Here is how it’s performed:
- 1) Round your back towards the ceiling
- 2) Exhale out all the air from your lungs into the balloon; your ribs should come down during this step
- 3) Hold your breath and lift your knees for 1-2 seconds
- 4) Drop your knees back down to ground and inhale
- 5) Repeat this sequence five times
If you’re experiencing any of the issues mentioned in this article, we can help by improving your respiration, stability and posture in New York City. Contact Dynamic Sports Physical Therapy at 212-317-8303 for more information on the value of balloon breathing exercises or to schedule an appointment with one of our expert physical therapists.