Breathing Exercises

Healthy Lungs Mean A Healthy Heart

When it comes to Breathing Difficulties, Low Blood Pressure Difficulties and Overall Fitness there’s nothing more important then maintaining a healthy Cardiovascular and Respiratory System. A healthy Heart, healthy Arteries, healthy Veins and healthy Capillaries are extremely important for maintaining optimal health and regulating blood pressure. Just as important as it is to look after your blood network and heart – Maintaining a healthy respiratory tract and a healthy pair of lungs is crucial to overall well being and properly managing any biological mechanisms that happen with you. Whether the mechanisms are acting in a burst to keep you alive during stressful experiences or whether your body is working overtime to repair and regenerate whilst you’re resting. You can learn about the fight or flight response and how it affects your health.

Just like any muscle, muscle group or biological process – In order to stay strong and healthy it requires exercise and strength conditioning. Whether you want to get big and strong to look noticeably bigger or whether you want to work on the smaller intrinsic muscles to prevent injuries. – Your lungs, respiratory system and muscle groups surrounding your rib cage require regular exercise, strength conditioning and a synergistic body composition to work with true efficiency whilst maintaining optimal health. In order to breathe struggle free, to maintain energy levels and fatigue whilst enjoying a happy life. It is crucial to look after your body.
As mentioned, and now you have an understanding on the importance of cardiovascular health and a clear respiratory system. Below are some illustrations of the muscles that assist with breathing and how to strengthen each individual muscle, each muscle group, the role each muscle plays in regards to assisting with breathing and the exercises to strengthen and maintain proper body composition.

Our rib cage is comprised of 24 ribs, 12 each side. In between each rib we have muscles called intercostals that expand and compress our rib cage. Outside of these muscles we have a larger group of muscles that join from the front of your shoulder blade to your first 8 ribs called the Serratus Anterior. The Serratus Anterior Is probably the most overlooked muscle group in the body and it’s important to maintain proper posture, chest expansion, oxygen intake and optimal health. In particular, both of these muscle groups are imperative in understanding if you or someone you know is living with paralysis. The importance in understanding the function of both Intercostals and Serratus Anterior is because of how functional the use of your Serratus Anterior is with compensating for partial or complete paralysis of the intercostal muscles. As stated, each intercostal is innovated by the host vertebral nerve root meaning it is highly affected by the level of which a particular persons paralysis is starting from. This meaning the higher up the thoracic spine, the more affected a persons ability to breathe will be. For example: low level paraplegics from T12 or lower (T12, L1, L2, L3, L4 & L5) would not be affected at all with any intercostal paralysis. People with low level paralysis will also have much more active innovation to larger groups of muscles in their back which also assist with breathing. Although Living with higher level injuries means more muscles are affected and in context to breathing difficulties, the further the paralysis up the thoracic spine the more the ability to autonomously breathe, sneeze and cough is affected. As previously stated, each intercostal muscle group is between each of the first 11 ribs that make up your rib cage. So a T4 Paraplegic would only have full innovation to the intercostal between the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th rib being more affected than a T10 Paraplegic. Where as a C5 Quadriplegic would be far more affected than a T4 Paraplegic due to complete paralysis with no innovation to any intercostals and solely depending on the diaphragm and scalenes to breathe. Where as, a c7 quadriplegic (Tetraplegic) would have active innovation of the serratus Anterior and Lattisimus Dorsi. A larger more superficial muscle, affective protagonist assisting with breathing. Meanwhile, still have Complete or Partial Paralysis of the Intercostals. The Serratus Anterior is Innovated by C5, C6, C7 and C8 Cervical Nerves with the Latissimus Dorsi Innovated by C6, C7 and C8 Cervical Nerves.