Dette er en veldig viktig artikkel for å forstå diafragmas rolle i både pust og bevegelse, og ifh smertetilstander i ryggraden. Nevner en lovende teknikk for å styrke diafragma og støttemuskulatur hvor man blåser opp en ballong og strammer kjernemuskulaturen. Nevner Zone of Apposition (ZOA) som beskriver diafragmas bevegelsesmuligheter. Ved lav ZOA har diafrgma lite bevegelse. Vi ønsker å øke ZOA. Denne øvelsen er konstruert basert på fysioterapeutisk prinsipper, men i Verkstedet Breathing System har vi øvelser som er gir samme resultater på diafragma, men bygget på lang og erfaringsbasert tradisjon fra tibetansk buddhisme.

Nevner også hvordan mage-pust minker bevegelsen i diafragma.

Suboptimal breathing patterns and impairments of posture and trunk stability are often associated with musculoskeletal complaints such as low back pain. A therapeutic exercise that promotes optimal posture (diaphragm and lumbar spine position), and neuromuscular control of the deep abdominals, diaphragm, and pelvic floor (lumbar-pelvic stabilization) is desirable for utilization with patients who demonstrate suboptimal respiration and posture. This clinical suggestion presents a therapeutic exercise called the 90/90 bridge with ball and balloon. This exercise was designed to optimize breathing and enhance both posture and stability in order to improve function and/or decrease pain. Research and theory related to the technique are also discussed.

Many muscles used for postural control/stabilization and for respiration are the same, for example: the diaphragm, transversus abdominis, and muscles comprising the pelvic floor.16 Maintaining optimal posture/stability and respiration is important and is even more challenging during exercise. Exercise increases respiratory demand (e.g. running) and limb movements (e.g. arms moving while standing still) increase postural demands for stabilization.3,7

Many factors are potentially involved with suboptimal respiration and suboptimal (faulty) posture and may be associated with musculoskeletal complaints such as low back pain, and/or sacroiliac joint pain.8 (Table 1)

Suboptimal Respiration and Posture
Decreased/suboptimal Zone of Apposition of diaphragm
Decreased exercise tolerance
Decreased intra-abdominal pressure
Shortness of Breath/Dyspnea
Decreased respiratory efficiency
Decreased expansion of lower rib cage/chest
Decreased appositional diaphragm force
Decreased length of diaphragm (short)
Decreased transdiaphragm pressure
Increased use of accessory muscles of respiration
Poor neuromuscular control of core muscles
Increased lumbar lordosis
Increased anterior pelvic tilt
Increased hamstring length
Increased abdominal length
Rib elevation/external rotation
Sternum elevation
Increased activity of paraspinals
Increased lumbar-pelvic instability
Low back pain
Sacroiliac Joint pain
Thoracic Outlet Syndrome

One of the most critical factors, often overlooked by physical therapists, is maintaining an optimal zone of apposition of the diaphragm.3,911 The zone of apposition (ZOA) is the area of the diaphragm encompassing the cylindrical portion (the part of the muscle shaped like a dome/umbrella) which corresponds to the portion directly apposed to the inner aspect of the lower rib cage.12 The ZOA is important because it is controlled by the abdominal muscles and directs diaphragmatic tension. When the ZOA is decreased or suboptimal, there are several potential negative consequences. (Table 1) Two examples include:

  1. Inefficient respiration (less air in and out) because the transdiaphragmatic pressure is reduced.11 The smaller the ZOA, there will be less inspiratory action of the diaphragm on the rib cage.11
  2. Diminished activation of the transversus abdominis which is important for both respiration and lumbar stabilization.11,13

The incidence of LBP has been documented to be as high as 30% in the athletic population, and in many cases pain may persist for years.15 Low back pain is frequently correlated with faulty posture such as an excessive lumbar lordosis.1618 Excessive lumbar lordosis may be associated with over lengthened and weak abdominal musculature.1820 Poor neuromuscular control of core muscles (transversus abdominis, internal oblique, pelvic floor and diaphragm) has been described in individuals with SIJ pain21 and in individuals with lumbar segmental instability, potentially adversely affecting respiration.22

Richardson et al.27 describe coordination of the Transversus abdominis and the diaphragm in respiration during tasks in which stability is maintained by tonic activity of these muscles. During inspiration, the diaphragm contracts concentrically, whereas the transversus abdominis contracts eccentrically. The muscles function in reverse during exhalation with the diaphragm contracting eccentrically while the transversus abdominis contracts concentrically. Hodges et al. noted that during respiratory disease the coordinating function between the transversus abdominis and diaphragm was reduced.6 Thus, it is also possible that faulty posture such as over lengthened abdominals and excessive lordosis could reduce the coordination of the diaphragm and transversus abdominis during respiration and stabilization activities.

O’sullivan et al.21 studied subjects with LBP attributed to the sacroiliac joints and compared them to control subjects without pain. O’sullivan et al. compared respiratory rate and diaphragm and pelvic floor movement using real time ultrasound during a task that required load transfer through the lumbo-pelvic region (the active straight leg raise test). Subjects with pain had an increase in respiratory rate, descent of their pelvic floor and a decrease in diaphragm excursion as compared to the control subjects, who had normal respiratory rates, less pelvic floor descent, and optimal diaphragm excursion. While O’sullivan et al. concluded that an intervention program focused on integrating control of deep abdominal muscles with normal pelvic floor and diaphragm function may be effective in managing patients with LBP,21 they did not describe strategies or exercises to achieve this goal.21

While the role of the Transversus abdominis in lumbar stability is well documented, less well known is the role of the diaphragm in lumbar stability. While the primary function of the diaphragm is respiration, it also plays a role in spinal stability.3,28

The right hemidiaphragm attaches distally to the anterior portions of the first through third lumbar vertebrae (L1-3) and the left hemidiaphragm attaches distally on the first and second lumbar vertebrae (L1-2).29 This section of the diaphragm is referred to as the crura. Of interest is the asymmetrical attachment of the diaphragm with the left hemidiaphragm attaching to L1-2 and the right portion attaching to L1-3.

During the inhalation phase of ventilation, the dome of the diaphragm moves caudally like a piston creating a negative pressure in the thorax that forces air into the lungs. This action is normally accompanied by a rotation of the ribs outward (external rotation) largely in part due to the ZOA.12 (Figure 1) Apposition is a term that means multiple layers adjacent to each other.33 The normal force of pull on the sternal and costal portions of the diaphragm would produce an internal rotation of the ribs. The ZOA creates an external rotation of these ribs primarily because the pressure in the thoracic cavity prevents an inward motion. The crural portion of the diaphragm assists the caudal motion of the dome. It also pulls the anterior lumbar spine upward (cephalad and anterior). Additionally, the abdominal muscles and pelvic floor musculature are less active to allow visceral displacement due to the dome of the diaphragm dropping. With exhalation, this process is reversed. Abdominal muscle activity compresses the viscera in the abdominal cavity, the diaphragm is forced cephalad and the ribs internally rotate. As exhalation becomes forced as during exercise, abdominal activity (rectus abdominus, internal obliques, external obliques, and transversus abdominis) will be increased.3436

When the ZOA is optimized, the respiratory and postural roles of the diaphragm have maximal efficiency.37 In suboptimal positions (i.e. decreased ZOA), the diaphragm has a decreased ability to draw air into the thorax because of less caudal movement upon contraction and less effective tangential tension of the diaphragm on the ribs and therefore lower transdiaphragmatic pressure.38 This decreased ZOA is accompanied by decreased expansion of the rib cage, postural alterations, and a compensatory increase in abdominal expansion.12 (Figure 2)

One such adaptive breathing strategy would be to relax the abdominal musculature more than necessary on inspiration to allow for thoraco-abdominal expansion. This situation leads to decreased abdominal responsibility while breathing and can contribute to instability. This would reflect more upper chest breathing and less efficient diaphragm activity. If the body maintains this position and breathing strategy for an extended period of time, the diaphragm may adaptively shorten and the lungs may become hyperinflated.37,39,40 Hyperinflation may also contribute to over use of accessory muscles of respiration such as scalenes, sternocleidomastoid (SCM), pectorals, upper trapezius and paraspinals in an attempt to expand the upper rib cage.4144 Again, without an optimal dome shape/position of the diaphragm or an optimal ZOA the body compensates to get air in with accessory muscles since the more linear/flat/short diaphragm is less efficient for breathing.32

Instructions for Performance of the 90/90 Bridge with Ball and Balloon: 1. Lie on your back with your feet flat on a wall and knees and hips bent at a 90-degree angle. 2. Place a 4-6 inch ball between your knees. 3. Place your right arm above your head and a balloon in your left hand. 4. Inhale through your nose and as you exhale through your mouth, perform a pelvic tilt so that your tailbone is raised slightly off the mat. Keep low back flat on the mat. Do not press your feet into the wall, instead pull down with your heels. 5. You should feel the back of your thighs and inner thighs engage, keeping pressure on the ball. Maintain this position for the remainder of the exercise. 6. Now inhale through your nose and slowly blow out into the balloon. 7. Pause three seconds with your tongue positioned on the roof of your mouth to prevent airflow out of the balloon. 8. Without pinching the neck of the balloon and keeping your tongue on the roof of your mouth, inhale again through your nose. 9. Slowly blow out as you stabilize the balloon with your left hand. 10. Do not strain your neck or cheeks as you blow. 11. After the fourth breath in, pinch the balloon neck and remove it from your mouth. Let the air out of the balloon.12. Relax and repeat the sequence 4 more times. Copyright © Postural Restoration Institute™ 2009, used with permission

The patient/athlete is asked to hold the balloon with one hand and inhale through his/her nose with the tongue on the roof of the mouth (normal rest position) and then exhale through his/her mouth into the balloon. The inhalation, to about 75% of maximum, is typically 3-4 seconds in duration, and the complete exhalation is usually 5-8 seconds long followed by a 2-3 second pause. This slowed breathing is thought to further relax the neuromuscular system/parasympathetic nervous system and generally decrease resting muscle tone. Ideally the patient/athlete will be able to inhale again without pinching off the balloon with their teeth, lips, or fingertips. This requires maintenance of intra-abdominal pressure to allow inhalation through the nose without the air coming back out of the balloon and into the mouth.

When the exercise is performed by the patient/athlete with hamstring and gluteus maximus (glut max) activation (hip extensors) the pelvis moves into a relative posterior pelvic tilt and the ribs into relative depression and internal rotation. This pelvic and rib position helps to optimize abdominal length (decreases) and diaphragm length/ZOA (increases).

Clinical experience with the BBE includes utilization of the exercise for both female and male patients (more females than males), ages 5-89 with a wide variety of diagnoses including: low back pain, trochanteric bursitis, SIJ pain, asthma, COPD, acetabular labral tear, anterior knee pain, thoracic outlet syndrome (TOS) and sciatica.

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