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Integration Physical Therapy is Siouxland’s only Postural Restoration Certified Clinic.

Breathing is such a reflexive thing to do that we seldom think about it.  It is the first thing we do when we are born and the last thing we do in our life yet we never take the time to assess how we breathe.  Very few people realize how breathing can influence their health or how poorly they breathe.  How we breathe can change our heart rate and blood pressure or cause headaches, panic attacks, and muscle tension.  But what is correct diaphragmatic breathing?

Quiet breathing should be a rate of 8-10 breaths per minute.  Quiet breathing is in and our through the nose.  On inhalation the chest wall, ribcage and belly should all expand using the diaphragm without the use of the neck and shoulders.  With exhalation the ribcage should drop and the abdominal wall sinks in. The exhalation phase of breathing should be about three times longer than the inhalation.  If you do not expell all the "dead air", you are not able to fully inhale enough good oxygenated air that is needed to supply our body with oxygen.

In order to breathe this way you need to use the diaphragm as your main muscle of inhalation.  For the diaphragm to work correctly there needs to be chest wall flexibility, good ribcage position by position of the pelvis and spine and the use of muscles to help support it.  The intercostals are muscles that lie between the ribs and allow them to expand and contract with breathing.  The abdominals connect the ribcage to the pelvis and help to stabilize for the diaphragm to work.  A chest wall that is elevated or tight results in shallow breaths and the use of neck muscles to assist with pulling the air in.  This leads to stress and tension in the neck and shoulders.   People with a shallow breathing habit may fatigue easily, get out of breath with simple activities such as going up a flight of stairs, get headaches, not sleep well or wake up tired after a full night of sleep.

Our treatment goals are to restore pelvic position and muscle balance, restore chest wall flexibility and apical expansion, restore diaphragmatic breathing and restore abdominal opposition for proper breathing to occur reflexively with functional activities.

Additional Information

Nicki and Todd Oss

My husband and I were both referred to Integration PT for lower back pain.  Right from the start, Melissa and Jane explained the source and cause of our pain and clearly laid out a plan to overcome it.  They showed us both techniques and stretches we could easily do at home and measured our progress each visit.  We both feel like we have more control over keeping our backs healthy and strong.  We highly recommend Jane and Melissa at Integration PT!

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(402) 412-2906
110 E. 39th Street / South Sioux City, NE 68776
FAX (402) 412-2907