It has been well established that the tightness of the trunk muscles affects optimal chest expansion in inspiration.
An ideal posture allows optimal biomechanics, one region of the spine that affects the ability of the respiratory system is the thoracic spine.
A slumped posture is called thoracic hyper-kyphosis, which limits the ability of the thoracic region.1
Furthermore, a study published in the Journal of Manual Therapy investigated the relationship between respiratory function and chronic neck pain and reported that:
The “respiratory muscle endurance training might be a valuable addition to the rehabilitation of patients with chronic neck pain, possibly by increasing chest mobility and Pemax [maximal expiratory pressure].”2
To develop optimal chest mobility, the active movements of the trunk in combination with deep breathing is essential. Maintaining optimal dynamic posture with fluid movement is imperative throughout a training drill.
According to an investigation published in the Clinical Journal of Pain specific training of the deep flexor muscles of the cervical region (neck) improves the activation of these muscles in the sufferers of chronic neck pain. These deep cervical muscles include the longus colli and longus capitis muscles.3
Sufferers of chronic neck pain present with various musculoskeletal deficits and respiratory dysfunction.
Therefore, ‘Respiratory muscle endurance training’ and ‘specific training’ of the deep neck flexor muscles can alleviate chronic pain and associated weakness of the neck and ALSO improve the respiratory muscle strength and endurance.
1.White GM. (2014). Optimal Breathing Kit. Charlotte, NC.
2.Wirth B, Amstalden M, Perk M, Boutellier U, Humphreys BK. (2014). Respiratory dysfunction in patients with chronic neck pain – influence of thoracic spine and chest mobility. Man Ther;19(5):440-4.
3.Falla, D, O’Leary, S, Farina, D, Jull, G (2012). The change in deep cervical flexor activity after training is associated with the degree of pain reduction in patients with chronic neck pain. Clin J Pain;28(7),628-34.