Breathing Pattern Re-education2024-05-28T10:52:59+01:00

Breathing Pattern

Breathing is something most of us take for granted – after all, it happens without any thought at all.

However sometimes the natural rhythm of our breathing can become disrupted. This is known as a breathing pattern disorder (BPD).

What is a Breathing Pattern Disorder?

When we are exposed to situations such as exercise, stress, anxiety, upset and illness, our body will naturally respond by altering the way we breathe. For example, we will breathe harder and faster if we are panicked, we will use the upper chest and breathe through our mouth if we are sprinting, and we may gasp or take small, rapid breaths when we cry. However these changes in the breathing pattern should return to normal once the situation has passed.

In a breathing pattern disorder (BPD), the normal pattern of breathing becomes disrupted, leading to symptoms. Some people can pin point when and why symptoms started, and others can not.

People will tend to breathe more from the upper part of their chest rather than using their lower chest (the diaphragm), mouth breathe rather than nose breathe, and breaths may be too fast or too large. This can cause uncomfortable symptoms and means you may experience breathlessness which is disproportionate to what you are doing.

Respiratory physiotherapists at Air Physiotherapy are experts in identifying and treating breathing pattern disorders (BPDs).

We can help ease your troublesome symptoms and get you back on track to breathing better.

Unfortunately, it cannot be fixed by deep breathing exercises or breathwork, although these practices do have their place in health and wellbeing. Instead a breathing pattern disorder requires a specialist to re-teach you how to breathe optimally and address any musculoskeletal imbalances. We draw on techniques from Buteyko, Papworth and BradCliff, and combine this with our extensive experience and expert knowledge of optimal respiratory patterns and mechanics in order to deliver reliable results.

Treatment firstly involves an initial consultation either in person, or virtually, where our physiotherapists will get a detailed history of your symptoms, analyse you breathing, and get you started on a breathing re-education programme. Over several treatment sessions, you will undergo treatment to re-educate your body and brain to breathe optimally, and explore how and why your symptoms occurred to avoid it happening in the future.

Do you have a breathing pattern disorder?

Some of the common signs include:

Difficulty taking a satisfying breath in

Frequent sighing and yawning

Tight chest

Palpitations (noticeable heartbeats)*

Weakness or fatigue

Achy muscles and joints

Chest pains *

Dry throat and/or cough

Cramps, twitches or tremors *

Panic attacks

Dizziness or fainting *

Pins and needles in fingers and toes

Disturbed sleep

Weakness or fatigue

Tired all the time

*we recommend getting these symptoms checked by a doctor before seeing us

Sign up to receive our free Breathing Pattern Disorder Factsheet

Our Pathway to Better Breathing

Pathway to better breathing

What Our Patients Say

“I was referred for long COVID and Air Physio have been extremely helpful. I would highly recommend.”
Long COVID patient
“My physio was extremely helpful when I was experiencing breathing issues related to anxiety. She listened to my concerns very patiently and taught me exercises to control my breathing. I would very much recommend Air Physio’s approach to anyone experiencing similar issues.”
Breathing Pattern Re-education patient

“I have been having physio sessions with Air Physiotherapy for many months now and it is safe to say they have been nothing short of a revelation. The staff are not only super friendly and accommodating but extremely knowledgeable.”

Airway Clearance and Home visit patient

“I can’t thank Air Physio enough for helping me to finally sort out my breathing problems after a five month struggle with COVID-19. I was beginning to think that I would never be able to breathe normally again. I have gone from not being able to take a complete breath to running and hiking again.”

Long-COVID patient
“I would recommend going to see Air Physiotherapy if you are suffering from any kind of breathing pattern disorder, as the physios are excellent at what they do. I’ve seen many different doctors and none of them have been able to help me at all until I found Air Physiotherapy. Thank you!”

Breathing Pattern Re-education patient
“I recommend Air Physio to anyone with breathing issues, my physio was incredible! She not only told me the technique of how to manage my breathing issue and to get it better, she helped me truly understand how breathing works. On top of that she made me feel very comfortable and she is really down to earth.”

Breathing Pattern Re-education patient

If you would like to know more about how Air Physiotherapy can help you, please get in touch.

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