How to brace and contract for stability and strength in your spine
Previously we have learnt how to breath correctly and control are breathing cycle. Now we will learn how to start controlling and activating our core control to help create spinal stability.
Your Core is made of up of a series of muscle groups surrounding and helping to control your trunk. spine & posture. The main areas being your diaphragm, abdominals, spinal and pelvic floor each area made of superficial and deeper muscle groups.
Connecting With Your Core
Lie on your back with knees bent, pelvis and low back tucked back to the ground,
Place your hands, flat palm down, below your belly button and above your trouser line — this is your target area of contraction,
Initially start your controlled deep breathing cycle – trying to fill the stomach,
At the peak of your inhale try and contract your lower abdominal muscle group where your hands are placed, hold for a couple of seconds and release the contraction and breath out,
Once you start being able to more comfortable with this you can try and hold the contraction through the entire breath cycle
Practise daily for a couple of minutes
note- once you are bracing correctly there should be very minimal impact on your breathing from the lower abdominal contraction
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From the moment we are born until we take our last breath…..how much time do you take to think about breathing?
Pulmonary Oxygenation in your lungs is a key component of life, health & wellbeing. This should be done normally through diaphragmatic (belly) breathing. During this blood oxygenation, digestive organ stimulation, and normal blood flow & tissue nutrition is achieved.
Chiropractic patients with chronic pain, hyperalgesia, muscular tension, sitting ergonomics, postural disturbance, thoracic & rib issues classically costochondritis have common breathing pattern disturbances which utilise the upper chest and shoulders. Negatively effecting the diaphragmatic musculature and making accessory breathing muscles work harder – adding to tension in the shoulders, upper back, neck & jaw.
Chest breathing is also a key component of our flight or flight sympathetic stress response & a hallmark of hyperarousal. Which is why as times of peak stress we can hyperventilate and a sign often associated with panic or anxiety attacks.
We take diaphragmatic breathing into account during spinal rehabilitation as it a as it helps create healthier movement patterns, to develop normal movement & strength from. Which will help the process of healing, stress and wellbeing.
Breathing Exercise One;
Lying on the ground body relaxed pelvis and low back comfortably tucked back to the floor. Place your hands below your your rib cage and above your belly button (as shown below).
Aim to breath into your abdomen/stomach area. Advancement of this is to start tilting your pelvis back and forward whilst concentrating on your smooth even full breath. Practise breathing through your nose and exhaling through your mouth.
A continuation from the above exercise is to start following a set pattern to control the diaphragm, volume and rate of breathing. Its an extremely good when anxious or stressed to reduce sympathetic stress and bring you into a more parasympathetic state. The change this can create an incredible lowering of your heart rate..
Take your time with this the aim is to be controlled and relaxed. Even starting to do this 1 or 2 times a day for a few minutes can create physiological body changes.
When mastered, this can then be done in sitting, standing or normal day to day activities
Inhale through the nose and exhale through the mouth!
Remember we are breathing to mobilise the rib cage and reduce physical tension throughout the body, promoting mental/emotional relaxation, deeper sleep, improved energy levels, and decreased levels of stress.
Day to Day also try and practise nasal breathing as much as possible!
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