The Importance of Posture for Breathing and New York Back Pain

a woman in three different posture poses

Something we tell a lot of our New York back pain patients is to watch their posture. Bad posture is obviously bad for your back, neck and so on, but it has other issues that can affect your health. That is breathing. If you think about it, it does make sense and perhaps not so far fetched as you may initially think.

Consider this… the main factors that can affect breathing problems and patterns with poor posture include being out of shape, shortness of breath, shallow breathing, problems with the diaphragm and associated area, and of course, low back pain. All this is related to poor posture because many of the muscles that help and control our breathing also help provide our core trunk strength too.

Focusing on the diaphragm, because of this core group of related muscles, it is important to realize that these abdominal muscles are what allows us to take in the amount of air, or not, based on how our posture is.

So, when we have poor posture, our muscles in that area are impaired. They are not able to function well and the result is that we cannot breath in as we perhaps should. And this is due to the reduced ability of the transverse abdominus muscle which helps with our breathing and support for the back.

This poor posture also accounts for an increased curve in the lower part of the spine (hence more low back pain), a larger belly and even stretch the hamstrings further than they should.

So how to correct this?

Try this exercise.

  1. Lay on your back with your feet on a wall perpendicular to the floor. So your knees will be at 90 degrees.
  2. Insert a 6 inch ball between your knees.
  3. With your right arm above your head, and place a balloon in your mouth with your other hand.
  4. Breath in through your nose and push your back to the floor while pulling downwards with your heels and squeeze the ball gently with your knees.
  5. Then breath out slowly to the balloon and push your tongue to the roof of your mouth to stop more air going into the balloon.
  6. Keep your tongue where it is and inhale again through your nose.
  7. Repeat the exercise 4 more times without letting any air out of the balloon. It’s also important not to strain your neck or cheeks either.
  8. Once complete relax, take the balloon out of your mouth and let the air out of it.

You can repeat this exercise daily and it will help improve your function and enable you to not only breath better but to also lessen the impact of low back pain.

If you are having troubles still, please come in and see us. We love to help people get out of pain and to improve their posture and have many more exercises and treatments to provide a way to a healthier lifestyle.

If you are in pain, contact us now. We have three simple ways you can make an appointment at our Back and Body New York chiro office:

Call now on (212)371 2000 or text (315)873-3095 or email us at

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