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Deep breathing exercises can reduce stress, lower blood pressure and help in neck pain relief

These breathing exercises can be done lying down or sitting. Improper breathing techniques may be a source of neck pain. This causes overload of the muscles in the front of the neck called the scalene muscles. The problem is with the muscles but the pain may still be felt in the shoulder and even down the arm to the hand. Breathing through the chest only can cause an increase in blood pressure and lower volume of air in the lungs causing the neck muscles to lift the ribcage and assist.

The muscles involved with poor breathing techniques are the scalene muscles. These muscles are in front of the neck and attach the neck to the upper rib cage. The "X" is where the trouble in the muscle is and the red areas are where pain or numbness may result

In normal deep breathing the abdomen expands or pushes out. The diaphragm contracts and pushes air into the lower chest. This is normal breathing. Just look at a baby or small child and you can observe this. Abdominal breathing increases the amount of air during inhalation and can decrease stress on the entire body.

We once automatically used deep breathing correctly, however, throughout life we have choked off this normal process and must relearn the proper breathing habits through still breathing exercises.

At first you may feel uneasy as you try to coordinate the muscles to use deep breathing properly, but after some practice with the breathing exercises it will become natural. Try to remember at times of neck pain and/or stress and anxiety to make sure to watch how you are breathing because these may be times when you revert.

To begin the coordination of deep breathing with the abdomen, first lay on your back with proper neck support.

This shows the wrong technique for breathing.


This illustration shows correct exhaling.


This illustration shows correct inhaling.