Low Back Pain – Is Breathing Wrong the Cause?

Spine, Lower Back, Uncategorized, Blog, / By Koh Peh Chia

Lower back pain is one of the problems that plague many of us. Some people may think it is something to do with your posture or sitting down for too long. However, a less thought about factor could be you’re breathing pattern instead. In this article we are going to look into it.


What has my breath got to do with my lower back?

Let’s take a look at the muscles involved. One of the main lower back muscle is the
quadratus lumborum. Its two attaching points are the top of the hip and our last rib.


When we breathe in, our lungs expand and our ribs are elevated. However, a common problem we face is that we breathe with our shoulders and this may cause your lower back pain.

What happens here?

Our ribs and diaphragm stay elevated and this pulls on our quadratus lumborum, thus possibly causing our chronic lower back pain. As we breathe in, our shoulders should not elevate but instead our chest should expand outwards. Shoulder elevation is a very prominent indicator that we are not breathing correctly. With shoulder breathing, our quadratus lumborum is constantly being pulled, causing the lower back pain.


What can I do?

One of the main things we like to cue at our clinic is diaphragmatic breathing. How do we go about this?

Think about drawing in your stomach as you breathe out.

Take a look at the pictures below to see if this helps you.

You can practice this drill for 3 sets of 10 daily and see if it helps you. Although this is just one of the many possible causes of lower back pain, it might ease the tension.

For best possible results, feel free to drop by our clinic for our physiotherapists to clinically assess your lower back pain. Do check out our instagram page!