Optimal breathing is a fundamental component for a healthy back for many reasons, and it is frequently one of the most difficult skills to master.
Breath perception exercises provide a good foundation for the Back-in-Rehab Programme as:-
- Hyperventilation is often seen with pain and anxiety that is associated with chronic low back pain
- An increased rate of breathing at rest, reduces the level of CO2 in the blood (hypocapnea) which may increase muscle tension.
- Breath holding can create unnecessary and inappropriate tension in muscles supporting the spine, leading to early fatigue and poor posture
- 8-12 breaths per minute, or 6 seconds per breath are ideal
Breathing exercises should be attempted for at least 2 minutes at the bare minimum. This may seem very difficult or frustrating during the initial stages but will become easier and more natural as you practice. If the breathing exercises continue to prove difficult, practice more often throughout the day and for longer without the presence of external distractions. You may also choose to seek further help from a suitable medical professional. The Back-in-Rehab Programme starts with breathing to help you relax and focus your mind. When your mind is relaxed and focused, you can attend more effectively to the tasks ahead.