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5 Breathing Tips to Reduce Neck and Back Pain, Sleep Better, and Stress Less

June 14, 2020

Are you struggling with neck or shoulder pain, low back pain, difficulty sleeping, digestive issues, or incontinence?

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Breathing tips for stress relief low back pain incontinence .pngAre you struggling with neck or shoulder pain, low back pain, difficulty sleeping, digestive issues, or incontinence? If so, how is your BREATHING?!? Our breath is such an incredibly powerful tool and we want to make sure we are breathing as efficiently as possible to avoid the health concerns above. Taping into how we use our diaphragm (our breathing muscle) is the first step. Our diaphragm is part of our core, yup I just said that, your diaphragm is part of your CORE. Your core is so much more than just your abs and is made up of a 4 part pressure system: your diaphragm, lower abdominals (transverse abdominals), deep lower back stabilizers (multifidus), and your pelvic floor.
When you inhale your diaphragm goes down and when you exhale your diaphragm lifts up helping your transverse abdominus & pelvic floor activate. If this system is disrupted for any reason you will have increased pressure that will increase stress on your pelvic floor, low back, and can lead to altered movement patterns. Let’s make sure this system is working optimally for you!                                                          Give these 5 simple breathing tips a try!
1. Stop Holding your breath We tend to hold our breath when we are stressed or in pain or just the thought of having to hold our stomachs in. This holding increases pressure placed on your pelvic floor and alters how your system works potentially leading to leaking, low back pain, neck and shoulder tension, and more.                                                                                                                                             2. Stop taking deep breaths Give it a try and take a deep breath. What did you notice? Your shoulders might have raised, tension in your neck, and you most likely had some chest breathing going on. When you take a deep breath, breathing into your chest, you’re using your neck and shoulder muscles to help lift your rib cage verses using your diaphragm.breathing for low back pain incontinence stress relief.png

3. Posture- Neutral Spine

Research studies have shown neutral spine puts your pelvic floor in an optimal position for this pressure system. What is a neutral spine? Glad you asked! A neutral spine consists of a slight tilt in your tailbone/gentle arch in your low back, softening in your upper body, and making sure your shoulders are not behind your pelvis. Basically, no slouching and no standing upright as straight as a board.

4. Pursed lip breathing

Pursed lip breathing is when you exhale as if you are breathing out through a straw. Be careful to not force your exhale,  but have a gentle breath. As you breathe out, notice the engagement of your transverse abdominus & pelvic floor. You will feel a gentle tension in your lower abdomen area.

5. breathing with your movements

I know I have definitely caught myself holding my breathing while working out, which places so much stress on your pelvic floor. You want to exhale on exertion and feel the connection with your lower abdomen and pelvic floor. For example, take a gentle breath in, exhale through that straw, and then move (squat, lift, get out of the car).


Adding these 5 simple breathing tips into your daily routine while help optimize your pressure system meaning: easing neck and shoulder pain, reducing low back pain, improving incontinence, helping with digestion, and better sleep! Give them a try to optimize your pressure system!

Want more? Check out this stress squasher technique using your breath!

Breathing can also be valuable tool for 6 Simple Stress Relieving Habits!

Have more questions on this pressure system? I am happy to help!

Happy Breathing!


Melissa Oleson, MSunn Yoga & Wellness, physical therapist washington dc, wellness physical therapy washington dc, yoga nw dc, yoga columbia heights, health coach dc, health coach washington dc, holistic health coach washington dc, dc health coaches, dc yoga, YOUnique wellness, self care washington dc, clarksburg maryland physical therapy, physical therapy frederick md, physical therapy germantown md, yoga clarksburg md, frederick md yoga, meditation frederick md, frederick md health coach, clarksburg md health coach, nutrition consultations, online nutrition consultations, germantown md yoga, montgomery county md yoga, active montgomery county, physical therapy tysons va, northern virginia health and wellness, nutrition alexandria va, best nutritionist in northern va, physical therapy montgomery county md, gaithersburg md health and wellness, gaithersburg md yoga, new market md yoga, frederick md yoga, yoga mcclean va, yoga tysons virginia, health coach mcclean va, health coach tysons va, physical therapy tysons va, physical therapist mcclean va, urbana maryland health and wellness, urbana maryland yoga, urbana md physical therapy, urbana md nutrition counseling, new market md physical therapist, corporate wellness nw dc, corporate wellness maryland, corporate wellness programs


Melissa Oleson, MSunn Yoga & Wellness, physical therapist washington dc, wellness physical therapy washington dc, yoga nw dc, yoga columbia heights, health coach dc, health coach washington dc, holistic health coach washington dc, dc health coaches, dc yoga, YOUnique wellness, self care washington dc, clarksburg maryland physical therapy, physical therapy frederick md, physical therapy germantown md, yoga clarksburg md, frederick md yoga, meditation frederick md, frederick md health coach, clarksburg md health coach, nutrition consultations, online nutrition consultations, germantown md yoga, montgomery county md yoga, active montgomery county, physical therapy tysons va, northern virginia health and wellness, nutrition alexandria va, best nutritionist in northern va, physical therapy montgomery county md, gaithersburg md health and wellness, gaithersburg md yoga, new market md yoga, frederick md yoga, yoga mcclean va, yoga tysons virginia, health coach mcclean va, health coach tysons va, physical therapy tysons va, physical therapist mcclean va, urbana maryland health and wellness, urbana maryland yoga, urbana md physical therapy, urbana md nutrition counseling, new market md physical therapist, corporate wellness nw dc, corporate wellness maryland, corporate wellness programs

Dr. Melissa Oleson PT, DPT, E-RYT, CDNT

  • Doctor of Physical Therapy

  • Bachelor of Nutritional Science

  • Certified Dry Needling Therapist

  • Registered Yoga Teacher RYT 200

  • Integrative Nutritional Health Coach

  • Working toward RYT 500 hours with Yoga Medicine


Melissa Oleson, MSunn Yoga & Wellness, physical therapist washington dc, wellness physical therapy washington dc, yoga nw dc, yoga columbia heights, health coach dc, health coach washington dc, holistic health coach washington dc, dc health coaches, dc yoga, YOUnique wellness, self care washington dc, clarksburg maryland physical therapy, physical therapy frederick md, physical therapy germantown md, yoga clarksburg md, frederick md yoga, meditation frederick md, frederick md health coach, clarksburg md health coach, nutrition consultations, online nutrition consultations, germantown md yoga, montgomery county md yoga, active montgomery county, physical therapy tysons va, northern virginia health and wellness, nutrition alexandria va, best nutritionist in northern va, physical therapy montgomery county md, gaithersburg md health and wellness, gaithersburg md yoga, new market md yoga, frederick md yoga, yoga mcclean va, yoga tysons virginia, health coach mcclean va, health coach tysons va, physical therapy tysons va, physical therapist mcclean va, urbana maryland health and wellness, urbana maryland yoga, urbana md physical therapy, urbana md nutrition counseling, new market md physical therapist, corporate wellness nw dc, corporate wellness maryland, corporate wellness programs