Breathing correctly is essential to your recovery. It teaches you how to slow down, and it helps you become more aware of decreasing tension as you move.
You might realize that you’ve been holding your breath as you move, which makes whatever movement you’re doing more difficult. We want you to be aware of your breath when you are moving throughout the day.
To do diaphragmatic breathing, start by lying on your back with your palms up and your feet flat on your bed or couch. (Only get on the floor if you can easily get back up. We prefer that you are comfortable.)
Your feet should be hip width apart, and your knees should be bent. Place one hand on your belly and one hand on your chest.
Slowly breathe in through your nose, allowing your belly to rise and your ribs to open and the chest to lift. You may find that when you inhale, your chest is rising more than your belly and that your abdomen draws inward. Stay relaxed and gently try to breathe in again. As you inhale, you should feel more movement under the hand at your belly and less movement at your chest.
Then, exhale slowly through pursed lips. You’ll notice that your abdomen and rib cage move down and in. Exhaling this way will engage your abdominal muscles. If you’re having difficulty feeling your belly rise when you inhale, concentrate more on your exhale. This will help you more naturally perform the diaphragmatic relaxation breath exercise.
This exercise may be very difficult for you, so just keep practicing each day.
Repeat this deep breathing 10 times in a row. Pay attention to your breath throughout the day. If you notice you’re holding your breath, stop and take a slow, gentle relaxing breath using the diaphragm muscles.
You should do diaphragmatic breathing two to three times per day.
Remember, you shouldn’t breathe from your upper chest. This will cause your breath to be shallow. Use your diaphragm to take deeper, even breaths.
The Laser Spine Institute Exercise Video Series, including all functional activities, post-surgical exercises and descriptions were designed specifically for Laser Spine Institute patients only. If you have not been prescribed these exercises, you should contact your physician before starting this or any exercise program. Exercise is not without its risks, and this or any other exercise program may result in injury. Risks include, but are not limited to: risk of injury, aggravation of a pre-existing condition, or adverse effect of over-exertion such as muscle strain, abnormal blood pressure, fainting and disorders of heart beat. As with any exercise program, if at any point during your workout you begin to feel faint, dizzy, or have physical discomfort, you should stop immediately and consult your surgeon's liaison or physician.