Humid weather & our breathing mechanism


With the hot weather subsiding and an influx of humidity setting in, our lungs can be put under extra physical burden. The humidity can condense and reduce space for air to flow through into the lungs. This may be noticed as a tight or heavy chest when breathing in (inhaling) almost like a wheeze that asthmatics suffer from.

The lungs are very passive structures and their movement is very much dependent on the movement of the diaphragm, the rib cage and its associated muscles – the intercostal muscles.

 

The lungs are very passive structures and their movement is very much dependent on the movement of the diaphragm, the rib cage and its associated muscles – the intercostal muscles.

We also use the ‘accessory respiratory’ muscles – muscles usually used during exercise to get extra air into our lungs by moving the ribs – to breath such as the scalenes and sternocleiodomastoids in the neck and pectoralis minor in the chest.

These are notoriously used when we are stressed causing shallow, rapid breathing which is inefficient and taxing on those muscles potentially leading to neck pain and headaches – especially tension-type headaches.

Working on your breathing, therefore, can be a helpful way to remove tension from the shoulders and neck. This can be done through exercise, relaxation and meditation or specific focus on diaphragm muscle recruitment.

Additional benefit can be gained through treatment to the ribs, thoracic spine, scapulothoracic joints and the associated musculature.

All this combined can be a helpful way of keeping away tension and improving lung function.

If you have any queries about any of the topics discussed here, please don’t hesitate to contact us through our Facebook channels or on our website.

Thanks for reading.

#lunghealth #diaphragm #ribs #headaches #neckpain

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