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J Med Assoc Thai. 2014 Jul;97 Suppl 7:S55-9.

Immediate effects of breathing re-education on respiratory function and range of motion in chronic neck pain.



Neck pain is associated with certain breathingpatterns and may lead to altered respiratory function. Moreover the altered breathing patterns may cause neck pain symptoms. This study has determined the effects of respiratory muscle reeducation on neck pain symptoms and respiratory function.


Subjects with chronic neck pain (n = 36) were re-educated with three breathing patterns for 30 min. The pain intensity at rest and at the end-of-range of each neck movement, the cervical range of motion (CROM) measured from photographic images and the chest expansion during full inhalation and exhalation recorded using videography were evaluated before and after breathing re-education. Upper trapezius, anterior scalene, and sternocleidomastoid activity were evaluated during normal and deep breathing using surface electromyography, and the respiratory function measured by a spirometer was also evaluated during the same period.


The pain intensity and the muscle activity were significantly decreased after re-education. The CROM and chest expansion at lower rib cage were significantly increased after re-education.


Breathing re-education can change breathing patterns and increase chest expansion. This change leads to an improvement in CROM Positive consequences may result from the improvement in diaphragm contraction or reduced activity of accessory muscles.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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