What Your Resting Heart Rate Is Telling You

Tracking your heart rate is an easy way to monitor your cardiovascular health. Tracking your heart rate over time can give you valuable insight into whether your heart health is improving or declining and if you need to adjust your activity levels.

What Is A Resting Heart Rate?

Your resting heart rate (RHR) is measured by how many beats your heart takes per minute while in a resting state, such as sitting or laying down. The higher the number of beats per minute, the harder your heart has to work to supply blood to the organs and muscles in your body.

Why Is My Resting Heart Rate Important?

If your resting RHR is too high, you are at an increased risk for cardiovascular disease, heart attacks, and strokes. In addition, completing daily tasks can be more difficult than it needs to be and you may find yourself with a “racing” heart beat or “out of breath” with tasks such as walking briskly or climbing stairs.

What Is A Normal Resting Heart Rate?

An average RHR for an adult is between 60 and 100 beats per minute.

How Do I Calculate My Resting Heart Rate?

If your have a smart watch, check to see if it has a heart rate setting. Many smartwatches have the ability to keep track of your heart rate and will track and display your RHR.

If you do not have a smart watch, find you can find your pulse by placing 2 fingers on your wrist, in line with your thumb or by placing 2 fingers on your neck, just below your ear. Watch a clock for 15 seconds while counting how many times you feel your pulse beat. Take this number and multiply it by 4.

Measuring Heart Rate On Neck and Wrist

Factors That Affect Resting Heart Rate

There are some factors that can affect your heart rate including:
• Diet: Diet plays a large role in how hard our heart has to work to pump blood. Some food and drinks such as coffee and foods high in sugar can cause a spike in your resting heart rate.
• Exercise: Athletes and those who work out regularly will typically have a lower resting heart rate.
• Hydration: Being dehydrated can cause your heart to have to work harder in order to pump blood to the rest of your body.
• Mood: Your mood can also affect your heart rate, feeling anxious or extremely happy can also raise your resting heart rate.

How Do I Improve My Resting Heart Rate?

If your heart rate is above 100 beats per minute, your heart is having to work too hard to pump blood to your body when you are at rest. You can remedy this by improving your cardiovascular health through exercise such as: walking, jogging, running, swimming, or biking and lifestyle changes (such as stopping smoking).

If you do not exercise regularly, you should check with your physician to ensure it is safe for you to exercise prior to starting a new exercise routine.

How Can A Physical Therapist Help?

Physical therapists are trained to monitor your heart’s response to exercise, design exercise routines, and adjust exercises to meet your current fitness level or mobility restrictions. Physical therapists can also teach you how to optimize your work-outs to improve your cardiovascular health.

If you have a high resting heart rate accompanied by difficulty with breathing during walking or stair climbing, or if you have restrictions to mobility that limit your ability to exercise consider making an appointment with one of our skilled physical therapists to design a customized wellness program. Therapydia Kona offers a wellness assessment that can give us further insight into your mobility, body composition and strength and how we can incorporate that into a program that will keep you active and injury free.

The Importance Of Active Recovery

The Importance Of Active Recovery

By Rebecca Roberts, PT, DPT

Have you ever felt sore and fatigued the day after a hard work-out, 5K, bike race, soccer match, or other activity? Similarly, you may have experienced increased muscle soreness, stiffness, or fatigue when you start a new workout routine or when you return to your normal workout routine after a lapse in activity. If so, then an active recovery program is for you. 

What Is Active Recovery?

Training, competing, or working-out can leave your muscles feeling stiff, sore, or fatigued due to micro-trauma in the muscles as well as a buildup of lactic acid and other waste products. An active recovery is any low-intensity movement that you perform to increase blood flow to your muscles, which helps to repair damaged cells and remove waste products from the cells which can leave you less sore and fatigued. Studies suggest that performing an active recovery can reduce muscle fatigue, (1) decrease inflammation, (2) improve performance, and decrease the length of your recovery. (3) Performing an active recovery may also reduce your risk of injury from over-training. 

What Does This Mean?

How you recover from a hard workout is just as important as the activity you do. It is important to plan 1-2 recovery days into your week, but that does not mean you should just sit on your couch. Change your mindset to think of your “rest days” as “active recovery days,” performing intentional low load movements versus no exercise or exercises at your normal training level. 

Some Of Our Therapist’s Favorite Active Recoveries:

Becky – Swimming, gentle bike riding, walking

Kate – Yoga

Stephanie – Light jogging, light weightlifting, surfing, walking, yoga

Tyler – Pilates, corrective exercises, swimming, jogging with my pup, hiking

Other active recovery suggestions:

  • Easy hiking or walking your dog (or a friend’s dog or a dog at a shelter)
  • Gentle rowing or paddling
  • Playing catch or sports with your kids
  • Snorkeling or swimming
  • Low-intensity Yoga, Pilates, or Tai Chi
  • Foam rolling
  • Light weight lifting

How Does Physical Therapy Help With Active Recovery? 

Physical therapists can help you design a custom exercise program that includes proper warm-up and recovery activities based on your individual activity level, goals, and needs. In addition, if you have tried active recovery and continue to be sore or experience pain, you may have an injury which will benefit from a physical therapy evaluation and customized treatment plan.

If you are experiencing pain or prolonged soreness after a work-out, please contact our office to schedule an appointment and see how our team of skilled physical therapists can help you reach your goals. 

Sources
(1) Mika A, Oleksy Ł, Kielnar R, et al. Comparison of Two Different Modes of Active Recovery on Muscles Performance after Fatiguing Exercise in Mountain Canoeist and Football Players. PLoS One. 2016;11(10):e0164216. Published 2016 Oct 5. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0164216
(2) Peake JM, Roberts LA, Figueiredo VC, et al. The effects of cold water immersion and active recovery on inflammation and cell stress responses in human skeletal muscle after resistance exercise. J Physiol. 2017;595(3):695–711. doi:10.1113/JP272881
(3) Ortiz R, Elder AS, Elder C et al. A systematic review on the effectiveness of active recovery interventions on athletic performance of professional-, collegiate-, and competitive-level adult athletes. J Strength Cond Res. 2019 Aug; 33(8):2275-2287. doi: 10.1519/JSC.0000000000002589.

Body Composition Testing: What We Really Need To Know

Lets focus a little more on MUSCLE  and a little less on FAT.

At Therapydia Kona, we have a unique body composition machine called the InBody570. The In-Body machine analyzes what your body is composed of (lean skeletal muscle, fat, water content) and also tells you the amount of calories you burn at rest. When you go to the doctor, they will measure your height and weight and then give you a number called your body mass index (BMI). The In-Body machine will be able to tell you what your BMI actually means.

If you are hesitant on getting a body composition test done because you’re afraid of what it might reveal, it’s understandable. But if you shift your concern off of lowering your body fat percentage, and gear it towards increasing your muscle percentage, not only will you become stronger and attain muscle definition and tone, you will create a healthier way of thinking about your body and setting personal goals.

This shift in thinking will take you away from the traditional “high BMI/low BMI” or “one number on a scale” which can be a very misleading representation of being overweight, underweight, or normal body weight. Since people have varying body types with differing compositions, a simple BMI or number on a scale just doesn’t tell the whole story.

Jumping on the scale and watching the number fluctuate up and down is useless if you don’t know what that number actually means, such as what percentage of that number is your lean body mass, what percentage is water content, and what is fat.

Body composition testing can be empowering in that it will show you where the changes in your lean muscle mass content have increased after adding strength training to your exercise regimen.

Increasing your lean muscle mass does not necessarily mean “bulking up” either, as this is a common misconception why women often avoid weight/strength training. Simply increasing lean muscle mass will actually assist in improving metabolic rate, aka, your body being more efficient at burning calories at rest. This will also naturally help your body reduce fat content.

Other benefits of increasing lean muscle mass include:

– Improves functional strength and independence

– Increase in bone density

– Elevates mood, confidence and social wellbeing

– Decreases risk of injury

– Reduces resting blood pressure

So hopefully after reading this, you will have a fresh outlook on getting your own body composition test and using the results as a motivator for adding strength training exercises to your routine to increase your lean muscle mass! Getting an initial assessment is a great way to start tracking your changes prior to initiating your new exercise routine.

Call and schedule an appointment today at Therapydia Kona for an In-Body test. The test takes less than 5 minutes and you will have the opportunity to sit down with a licensed physical therapist who will thoroughly explain the results of your test in an easy to understand way!

The Role of Physical Therapy in the Treatment of Headaches

woman suffering from a headache

By Rebecca Roberts, PT, DPT

A 2015 study found that over 14% of US adults have had a migraine or severe headache within the past 3 months, with rates as high as 23.5% in women ages 18-44.1 Severe headaches and migraines can cause decreased participation at home and in the community in addition to lost wages due to absenteeism at work. In some severe cases headaches and migraines can even lead to disability. Severe headaches and migraines can be very difficult to treat, with many people seeking provider after provider to get some relief.

There are many different types and causes for headaches including:

Tension type headaches – often Cervicogenic in nature, meaning caused by dysfunction of the muscles, bones, or joints in the neck, shoulders, and base of the skull. Frequently worsened by stress.

Migraines

Other – there are many other causes for headaches, including trauma, sinus problems, medication overuse, vascular problems, tumors, and more.

Many people who have frequent headaches suffer in silence as they do not know there are treatments that can help decrease the frequency and severity of headaches.

How can Physical Therapy help?

Your Physical Therapist (PT) will perform an evaluation of your head, neck, shoulders, and upper back looking for dysfunction in posture, strength, muscle length, muscle tension, and range of motion that may be contributing to your pain. Your PT will also evaluate your movement to determine if your headaches appear mechanical or non-mechanical in nature, and refer your to another provider if PT is not appropriate. Your PT will then develop a customized treatment plan, targeted to address any dysfunction found during your evaluation. Most treatment plans consist of a mix of exercises, postural adjustments, patient education, stress reduction, and manual therapy to address impairments that contribute to the severity and frequency of your headaches.

Do you suffer from frequent headaches? Whether your headaches are severe or mild, frequent or infrequent, physical therapy may be right for you. Please contact our office to schedule an appointment to see how physical therapy can help you.

Burch, R. C., Loder, S. , Loder, E. and Smitherman, T. A. (2015), The Prevalence and Burden of Migraine and Severe Headache in the United States: Updated Statistics From Government Health Surveillance Studies. Headache: The Journal of Head and Face Pain, 55: 21-34. doi:10.1111/head.12482

Get To Know Your PT: Becky Roberts

kona-physical-therapist-becky-roberts

Therapydia Kona physical therapist Becky Roberts takes some time to talk what inspired her career transition, her love of rugby, what she’s learned since becoming a PT.

When did you know that you wanted to be a physical therapist?

I spent my 20’s working long hours in corporate america and playing rugby during most of my off-time. Despite a successful career, I felt something was missing. I was always interested in working in healthcare, so as I became unsatisfied with my career I looked into different patient centered careers. Since I spent most of spare time playing rugby, I also I spent time in therapy getting my injuries treated – as did many of my friends. Through my experiences in PT as a patient I decided I wanted to become a physical therapist.

What’s your favorite song to get you motivated?

I love music, but it all depends on my mood, if I’m working-out, something upbeat and fast paced.

What is the biggest challenge involved in being a PT?

Staying up to date on research. There is always something new to learn – new surgeries, new approaches to rehabilitation, new understandings of how pain works. It’s a constant process to ensure you have the best and most current knowledge possible.

How do you like to stay active?

Hiking, swimming, going to the gym, pick-up sports with friends.

What surprised you the most about the physical therapist profession?

How much impact small changes have in our patient’s life.

Are you currently pursuing any further education/certifications?

Not currently, however, I am debating pursuing a women’s health certification.

What’s your go-to breakfast?

Eggs, a smoothie, or overnight oats.

What do you wish everyone knew about physical therapy?

The breadth of conditions that physical therapists can treat. Prior to becoming a PT I didn’t realize all the roles a PT can play in healthcare.

What is the biggest misconception you hear from new patients?

The old “no pain, no gain” saying, where patients expect therapy must be painful in order to get better. While we do embrace some discomfort in therapy, significant pain is not usually a goal and maintaining good pain management helps improve outcomes for most patients.

What is the most important personality trait that a therapist must have?

Diligence, in addition to the obvious answers of intelligence, compassion, and empathy. I feel diligence is importance to stay on top of research, patient care, and insurance requirements. This profession demands a level of continuous personal and professional growth and diligence to remain self-motivated.

What do you do to de-stress/unwind?

I enjoy connecting with friends and family, reading, relaxing at the pool or beach, and going on solo hikes or adventures.

Finish this sentence: On Saturday mornings, you can usually find me…

Reflecting on my week, connecting with family/friends, going to the beach, or adventuring to some other part of the island.

What is the best piece of wellness advice you’ve ever received?

Actunities (opportunities for activity) are all around us, take advantage of them. For example: park in the far spot at the store, take the stairs at work, walk or bike to the grocery.

What is your favorite piece of wellness advice to offer?

Find an activity you enjoy, or you are unlikely to do it. Not everyone likes running, yoga, weightlifting, etc. Find what you like and do it unapologetically. Find a friend who likes doing the same thing and then you have an accountability partner.

Get to Know Your PT: Kate LaPak, Therapydia Kona Physical Therapist

Kate LaPak physical therapist Kona Hawaii Therapydia

Therapydia Kona physical therapist Kate LaPak takes some time to talk adaptability, Frank Sinatra, and her dog, Dino.

“It’s all about balance and moderation. Balance between muscles, between work and play, between everything.”

When did you first know that you wanted to be a physical therapist?

I was a bit of a late bloomer. I have always had an interest in health and fitness but wasn’t sure where I would fit in. I did an internship through NYU shadowing physical therapists in Bellevue Medical Center for one summer during my junior year of undergrad and fell in love with physical therapy.

What is the biggest challenge involved in being a PT?

Keeping up with the paperwork. It takes more time than I’d like to admit. I’d much rather spend my time reading into the newest and latest physical therapy research for my patients.

How do you like to stay active?

I love doing just about anything with my dog. Walking, running, hiking… I also like to lift weights and practice yoga.

What’s your favorite song to get you motivated?

“1985 (Intro to “The Fall Off”)” by J. Cole. It’s all about not getting ahead of yourself or being overconfident when you are new to the game.

What surprised you the most about the physical therapy profession?

The wide variety of conditions that we are able to treat or specialize in. Before physical therapy school, I always thought of physical therapists as people you go to after a major surgery. PTs are qualified to treat not only musculoskeletal conditions but neurologic, pediatric and women’s health conditions as well.

Are you currently pursuing any further education/certifications?

I am getting my level 1 SFMA certification at the end of the month with my coworker Stephanie. I am also aiming to get my OCS (Orthopedic Clinical Specialist Certification).

What do you wish everyone knew about physical therapy?

You don’t need to be in pain to come see us! We offer wellness screens to help you move better and feel better in your everyday life.

What’s your go-to breakfast?

Grain-free granola and vanilla greek yogurt. Although every now and then I opt for a cinnamon roll 🙂

What is the most important personality trait that a PT must have?

Adaptability. You should be able to adapt to each of your patient’s needs and treat accordingly.

What do you do to de-stress/unwind?

I enjoy cooking, yoga and meditation. There’s nothing better than cooking dinner with a glass of wine and Frank Sinatra playing in the background.

Finish this sentence: On Saturday mornings, you can usually find me…

At the dog part with my dog Dino!

What is your favorite piece of wellness advice to offer?

It’s all about balance and moderation. Balance between muscles, between work and play, between everything.

Click here to learn more about Kate and the other physical therapists at Therapydia Kona.

Get to Know Your PT: Stephanie Colasanti, Therapydia Kona Physical Therapist

physical therapist kona hawaii

Therapydia Kona Physical Therapist Stephanie Colasanti, PT, DPT, takes some time to talk about staying motivated, the difficulty of turning off her PT brain when she’s not at work, and sunny-side up eggs.

“Don’t stop moving! Get off the couch and go outside to release some endorphins and feel motivated about life.”

When did you know that you wanted to be a physical therapist?

I knew I wanted to be a PT when I was an undergraduate studying exercise science and getting observation hours through various PT settings. Seeing the positive influence that PTs were able to provide through delivering personalized treatments and building caring relationships with patients motivated me to pursue the profession.

What is the biggest challenge involved in being a physical therapist?

Turning off my PT brain when I’m not at work. It is hard to go out in public and avoid observing people’s gait, posture, and overall movement patterns and not want to start giving PT advice.

How do you like to stay active?

I enjoy going to group workout classes like CrossFit. Working out with friends in a group environment is generally more motivating than trying to work out by myself. I also try to stay active by getting in the ocean and surfing or stand-up paddleboarding.

What’s your favorite song to get you motivated?

“What Do I Know?” by Ed Sheeran. It’s all about not taking life too seriously and when it comes down to it, love is all that matters.

What surprised you the most about the physical therapist profession?

I would say the most suprising thing about the profession is the lack of public awareness of the level of education physcial therapists have. It seems like most people are unaware of how equipped PTs are in diagnosing and treating most musculoskeletal conditions.

Have you learned anything new about PT recently that surprised/interested you?

I recently learned there is a new technique being studied to reverse the effects of various types of foot and hand neuropathy (pain, numbness, and tingling occurring from nerve damage). I have seen a lot of patients who could benefit from this.

Are you currently pursuing any further education/certifications?

Not currently, however I am looking into getting SFMA (Selective Functional Movement Assessment) certified and possibly eventually doing a yoga certification for health professionals.

What do you wish everyone knew about physical therapy?

I wish everyone knew that PT should be the first line of action to take prior to surgery or medications when it comes to pain, with the exception of some very serious issues and acute fractures that require emergency surgery. PT will get you back to doing what you love sooner and with less risk than other non-conservative methods of pain relief.

What’s your go-to breakfast?

Sunny-side up eggs.

What is the most important personality trait that a PT must have?

I think being personable and having good listening skills is absolutely crucial. It makes the experience much more comfortable and allows the patient to trust you.

How do you unwind/de-stress?

Surfing, working out, hanging out with friends, reading, cleaning, yard work.

What is your favorite piece of wellness advice to offer?

Don’t stop moving! Get off the couch and go outside to release some endorphins and feel motivated about life.

Click here to learn more about Stephanie and the other physical therapists at Therapydia Kona.

Get to Know Your PT: Tyler Patrick, Therapydia Kona Clinic Director

Therapydia Kona Clinic Director Tyler Patrick, PT, DPT, OCS, ATC, CSCS, takes some time out of his busy schedule to talk about how PT is perceived by the general public, what keeps him motivated, and his dog, Rufio.

“At our clinic, we get to know the person who has the injury which allows us to treat them, and not just their injury.”

When did you know that you wanted to be a physical therapist?

My interest in medicine as a career started when I tore my ACL, MCL, and meniscus while playing football in high school. I decided to pursue Athletic Training for my undergraduate degree as it combined my interest in sports and medicine. Through clinical experiences with the different sports teams at Ohio State and professionally with the Baltimore Ravens, I realized I enjoyed rehabilitating the athletes the most, therefore I decided to become a PT.

What is the biggest challenge involved in being a physical therapist?

We are a medical provider that asks a lot of the patient. We don’t perform a lot of passive treatments, which requires the patients to take an active role in their recovery with home exercises performed daily or even multiple times a day. Once people start to take that ownership and realize that they have some control in their recovery, it is very rewarding to experience.

How do you like to stay active?

I have an exercise program that I follow 3x a week and I also run 3x a week with my dog. Then try to hike, bike, swim, and surf as much as possible.

What’s your favorite song to get you motivated?

Honestly it depends on my mood, but I have been listening to a lot of Nahko and Medicine for the People and Childish Gambino recently.

What surprised you the most about the physical therapist profession?

Since we are a young profession, compared to nursing or physicians, many people still do not truly know what physical therapists actually do until they experience it for themselves.

Are you currently pursuing any further education/certifications?

Recently I have taken a deep dive into golf rehabilitation with the Titleist Performance Institute and it has not only helped me treat the golfers on the island, but improve their golf game as well! Additionally, I have plans to take some Pelvic Restoration Institute courses to incorporate more diaphragm and breathing into my treatments.

What do you wish everyone knew about physical therapy?

I think this one ties back into my surprise as to people not fully understanding what we do. As a profession, we are trying to educate people on how we treat injuries and pain, as well as the amount of training/education that goes into becoming a PT. It takes 7 years to become a Doctor of Physical Therapy.

What’s your go-to breakfast?

I hate to admit this but I usually don’t eat breakfast, but when I do it usually is anything fast.

What is the most important personality trait that a physical therapist must have?

At our clinic, we spend an hour with new patients and 45 minutes with follow up appointments, so being able to communicate is probably the most important trait. We get to know the person who has the injury, which allows us to treat them and not just their injury.

What do you to unwind/de-stress?

I meditate, spend time with my pup Rufio, play bike polo, surf, workout, watch a movie or show, and read to name a few.

What is your favorite piece of wellness advice to offer?

I have a lot, but one that I was given recently is to imagine the person you want to be and then ask yourself, what would that person do in this situation? When it comes to fitness though my soap box topic is always to train movement, not muscles.

Click here to learn more about Tyler and the other physical therapists at Therapydia Kona.

Basic Steps for Dance Injury Recovery and Enhancement

As a dancer, the summer is the perfect time to plan and prepare for the upcoming dance season. Since dancing is such a highly strenuous physical activity, it is crucial to ensure that your body is in peak condition for performance and injury prevention. While getting injured is never part of the plan, it is an unfortunate reality of such a demanding sport. Overuse injuries like plantar fasciitis, achilles tendinitis, patellofemoral pain syndrome, hip strains/sprains, and many other injuries of the lower extremity/back are common for dancers. Many dancers expect aches and pains to be a part of dancing but this is actually not the case. The discomfort you feel is your body telling you that something needs to change. Luckily, physical therapy can offer the needed edge to ward off these aches and pains, while preventing future injuries and even strengthening and refining your current skills.

Springing Back From Injury

After so much training, preparation, and effort, the last thing a dancer wants to hear is “you’re going to need to stop dancing.” Fortunately, our physical therapists can help you get back to dancing as quickly as possible while increasing body control and restoring strength. This means less pain and more dancing! Your physical therapist will also work to incorporate dancing into your recovery program, making it so time away from the dance floor is optimized to improve your abilities.

While other pain relief solutions may offer a temporary fix, working with a physical therapist can enhance your body’s functions with the long-term in mind. Mixing exercises with an increased knowledge of your body can help you strengthen your skills, ensure that you’re moving properly, and most importantly, get you back to the activity you love doing.

Elevating Your Performance

Whether you’re seeking out ways to recover from an injury or just looking to refine your athletic prowess and become a stronger dancer, utilizing physical therapy to counteract injury will improve your body’s function in a way that is everlasting. Curious what’s involved in a Dancer Wellness Consultation?

When you first meet with a physical therapist, you’ll be taken through a dance-specific physical screening that allows for dynamic and static movement testing. Your physical therapist will evaluate flexibility, strength, body control, and observe technique to design a plan of care that is unique to your body and personal goals. They may evaluate control through:

1. Bridge Exercise Progression: To determine if you can disassociate hip movement from pelvic and low back and to find out which muscles you use to extend your hip. (By the way, you should be using one of the biggest muscles in your body to do this, your gluteus maximus!) This exercise will progress to a squat pattern and can help reduce knee, hip, and back pain, while improving posture and strengthening your core.

2. Plank Variations: To ensure that you organize your core correctly and to assess endurance.

3. Foot Exercises and Challenges: These exercises seem weird at first, but many of us spend so much time in foot coffins (shoes) that we lose the natural abilities our feet possess. Our feet are capable of so much more than we realize. Just think of what people can do with their feet if they have no hands: play instruments, brush their teeth, make meals, and pick up objects! Although many of us do not use our feet to their full potential, a physical therapist can retrain them to be the springs that they were meant to be.

Knowledge in these areas can help when it comes to early detection of bone-stress symptoms, as well as overuse injuries. The supervision and input of a highly-trained dance medicine specialist can provide education and a deeper understanding of your body, giving you the tools necessary to be stronger and move better. To learn more about the Dancer Wellness Consultation, give Therapydia Kona a call at (808) 498 4144.

Faulty Breathing Pattern Can Cause Neck Pain

neck pain treatment

Blog post by Lev Borukhov, PT, DPT

One of the most common causes on neck pain and thoracic spine discomfort is ineffective breathing patterns. To understand the reasoning behind this, we have to take a look at how your body uses muscles and skeletal structures to breath. First lets look at the diaphragm, the primary muscle of respiration.

The Diaphragm shown in the picture below is a parachute shaped muscle that attaches to the inside of your chest bone (sternum) and it goes all the way around your ribcage on both sides. As you inhale the diaphragm expands the chest, and pushes the organs that lie below it down into your belly. Exhalation happens passively as the muscle ascends back into the rib cage.

diaphragm-breathing-neck-pain

For one reason or another, a faulty breathing pattern can emerge. A faulty breathing patterns is when you’re not using your diaphragm as efficiently as you can to inhale. Many times your body will recruit the Sternocleidomastoid, Scalenes, Levator Scapulae, Pectoralis minor and major, Trapezius, and Rhoboid Major muscles to assist in expanding the rib cage. When we look at common neck pain patterns, we often see these muscles are tight, overly stretched, or painful. These are the same muscles that turn on when you’re working out or running and need to get more air in.

neck-pain-breathing-pattern

Learning how to breath better may take some of your neck pain away and even solve them for good. So how do you start?

1) Lay on your back. Make sure that your pelvis, rib cage and head are on the surface you’re laying on with only 1 pillow under your head. Put your feet on the wall or a stool so that your knees and hips are flexed 90 degrees.

2) Take a deep breath in through your nose, keep your mouth closed. As you inhale you want your belly, and ribcage to expand in 360 degrees. Meaning you should feel your rib cage pushing into what you’re laying on.

3) Exhale all the way through your mouth only. Say “Haaaaaaaaa” as you exhale and don’t purse your lips. Make sure your exhale time is at least double the inhale time. You should also feel your obliques contract, if you didn’t that means you have more air in there that you should exhale.