Benefits of Breathing Exercises for Reducing Chronic Pain…

Benefits of breathing exercises for reducing chronic pain

Persistent pain that lasts weeks to years is considered as chronic pain. The pain may be caused by inflammation or dysfunctional nerves. Treatment approach for chronic pain includes medication, physiotherapy, cognitive behavioral therapy and surgery.

When we feel pain, we tend to hold our breath for short periods of time unintentionally. This is a common response to pain, the idea of “hold your breath to get through the pain.” The shallow breathing pattern that follows this type of breathing often increases the level of pain as well as worsening some of the symptoms of the chronic disease causing the pain.

With shallow, chest breathing, only upper lobe of lung inflates. As blood flow occurs mainly in the lower lobes of the lungs, it does not get fully oxygenated. This results in less oxygen transfer to the blood. Diaphragmatic breathing allows for more oxygen in the lungs and the blood, and stimulates the relaxation response.

Breathing can actually help regulate the heart rate and blood pressure, which helps regulate the pain response in the brain. Deep breathing, also known as diaphragmatic breathing can help manage chronic pain.

Cognitive behavioral therapy remaps the brain to redirect the signals sent by the nervous system. Changing our thoughts and actions can retrain the brain back to the way it was before the chronic pain.

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is based on the idea that a person’s automatic and possibly unconscious thoughts and beliefs create an over-reactive impression of the pain event. Diaphragmatic breathing is among the CBT techniques to change these automatic physical and cognitive responses. Practicing deep breathing can help when feeling tense or in pain. Deep breathing, or breathing with your diaphragm, can help you to relax and manage stress when you are experiencing pain or tension.

Let’s see how to practice diaphragmatic breathing-

1. Lie on your back with your knees bent. ...
2. Put one hand on your upper chest, and the other below your rib cage. ...
3. Inhale slowly through your nose and into your diaphragm, pushing against the hand placed there. ...
4. Repeat for 5 – 10 minutes, 3 – 4 times a day.

Breathing properly oxygenates the body, fueling energy production, improves focus and concentration, eliminates toxins, and increases feelings of calmness and relaxation. So this is easy and inexpensive way to take care of chronic pain. If you suffer from pain since long time get your condition diagnosed and treated.

References –

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