Lower back pain is one of the most common medical issues of modern society. There are various complex reasons for lower back pain. Treatment options are mostly conservative and they include physical exercises. Recently a lot of research was done on finding the connection between breathing and thoracic spine and the functioning of the lumbar spine. Several studies reported changes in breathing patterns, diaphragm dynamics and lung capacities in patients with nonspecific chronic lower back pain. The results of those studies often indicate that lower back pain might be associated with changes in lung function, breathing patterns, torso stability and thoracic spine mobility.
The purposes of this master's thesis are: to present the impact of breathing and thoracic spine on lower back pain, to present tests for evaluating breathing patterns and to define exercises designed to establish a normal breathing pattern. Furthermore it also presents the selection and execution of exercises designed to improve mobility of the thoracic spine and chest. In order to get a better understanding of the problem, introduction first explains the structure, osteokinematics and arthrokinematics of the thoracic spine, lumbar spine, thorax and also muscular activity during respiration.
The main part of my thesis is meant to review the research, to present the influence of breathing (diaphragm) on the functioning of the thoracic and lumbar spine, to reveal the association between thoracic and lumbar spine, to understand breathing patterns in people with lower back pain as well as the effect of breathing exercises on lower back pain and lastly, to emphasize the connection between breathing and body postures. The final part of the thesis presents the assessment of breathing and breathing exercises. Last but not least, it also includes the evaluation of the thoracic spine and exercises for thoracic spine mobility.
Information for discussing the topic was obtained from domestic and foreign sources of various media and our own experience in dealing with people suffering from lower back pain.Based on the reviewed literature and research, we believe that the evaluation of breathing patterns as well as exercises to mobilize the chest and thoracic spine should be included in the treatment process in a person with lower back pain.