In many cases, pain can be managed with breathing exercises in conjunction with other pain treatments to result in more comfort.  Studies have shown that deep and slow breathing (DSB) techniques can positively influence pain processing. Breathing exercises have also been found to reduce fear (the more you fear pain, the more you feel pain).

Additionally, deep breathing lowers stress in the body because the brain is sent a message to calm down. In turn, the brain sends that message out to the rest of your body. Deep breathing can also decrease heart rate, rapid breathing, and high blood pressure – all of which tend to increase with the onset of stress. 

You can combine breathing exercises with meditation and yoga for even more restorative benefits. Here are some breathing exercises you can try on your own. 

Belly Breathing

Belly breathing is a basic exercise that’s easy to do.

  1. Sit comfortably.
  2. Put one hand on the stomach below the ribs, with the other on your chest.
  3. Breathe in deeply through your nose, and extend your belly out but not your chest. 
  4. Breathe out like you are whistling, gently pushing on your stomach to push all the air out.
  5. Do this up to 10 times. 

4-7-8 Breathing

You can do this sitting or lying down. 

  1. Place one hand on your stomach and another on your chest. 
  2. Take a slow, deep breath and count to four.
  3. Hold in your breath, and count to seven.
  4. Breathe out and count to eight. 
  5. Repeat until you feel calm.

Roll Breathing

This exercise will help you focus on the rhythm of breathing. It’s best done while you’re lying on your back with your knees bent.

  1. Place your left hand on your stomach and the other on your chest.
  2. Breathe in so your left hand goes up when on the inhale while your right hand stays still. 
  3. Do this 10 times, breathing in through your nose and out through your mouth.
  4. Next, add the chest component, inhaling first into your lungs and then inhaling up through your chest.
  5. Exhale through your mouth, making a whooshing sound and be mindful of the tension leaving your body.
  6. Do this for five minutes. Try it every day for many weeks until you can practice this technique anywhere you are – at work on the train, at home, etc.

Lion’s Breath

This will help you relax your facial and jaw muscles while increasing cardiovascular function. Get on your hands and knees, spreading your fingers far apart. Inhale through your nose, then open your mouth wide, stick your tongue out, and curl it downward towards your chin. Make a “haaa” sound while exhaling forcefully through your mouth. Repeat.

Resonance Breathing

Lie down with your eyes closed. Inhale gently through your nose for six seconds, then slowly exhale for six seconds. Repeat for 10 minutes to lessen stress and pain.

Contact Summit Spine & Joint Centers For Pain Control Options

Our pain management specialists can complement your breathing exercises with non-invasive treatments designed to alleviate chronic pain. Get in touch with Summit Spine & Joint Centers today at (770) 962-3642 to schedule your consultation at one our 24 pain centers including our featured April location for Pain Management in Gainesville, GA.