Expiratory respiratory musculature
In cases of heavy physical exertion and/or the presence of various lung diseases, the so-called expiratory breathing muscles can be used to intensify the exhalation process, which is normally purely passive. The most important respiratory muscles of exhalation include The activation of this part of the respiratory musculature is usually controlled by an increased consumption and demand for oxygen at the brain level. Depending on the load situation, a different number of these muscles can be used in different intensities. – the inner intercostal muscles (Musculi inercostales interni et intimi),
- The subcostal muscle (Musculus subcostalis)
- And the transverse lower thoracic muscle (Musculus transversus thoracis).
Respiratory assistance muscles during exhalation
The support of breathing at the level of expiration is mainly provided by muscle groups of the abdomen and back. If the increased oxygen consumption cannot be covered despite an increase in the activity of the respiratory muscles, the large back muscle (Musculus latissimus dorsi) in particular can provide support. This muscle is also able to facilitate the expectoration of fixed secretions.
It is therefore not only a part of the respiratory musculature, but also a so-called cough muscle. Furthermore, the quadratic lumbar muscle (Musculus quadratus lumborum) belongs to the group of expiratory respiratory muscles. – the transverse external abdominal muscle (Musculus obliquus externus abdominis),
- The transverse internal abdominal muscle (Musculus obliquus internus abdominis)
- And the horizontally running lower abdominal muscle (Musculus transversus abdominis), which mainly contributes to the strengthening of exhalation under stress and/or lung diseases.
Pain in the respiratory musculature
Depending on the position and depending on the inspiration or expiration, pain in the respiratory muscles can have many different causes. If the pain persists for a longer period of time, a doctor should be consulted to clarify the symptoms. – If there is pain in the thorax during inhalation, tension in the intercostal muscles can be a reason.
- If the painful area is more concentrated at one point of the costal arch, a contusion or fracture of the ribs could be the cause. – If the pain is located more in the direction of the abdomen, it could be harmless air-filled intestinal loops, tension in the abdominal muscles or serious causes such as swelling of the liver or spleen. – A defect in the diaphragm such as a hernia can also cause pain.
Symptoms of tense respiratory muscles
A tense respiratory musculature can make itself felt through various symptoms. – If you feel pain when breathing, you automatically breathe in and out less deeply. One becomes more shortness of breath and a subjectively perceived shortness of breath can develop.
This could be remedied by deep breathing, but since it hurts when breathing, a vicious circle begins. – If necessary, one adopts a gentle posture, such as a curvature of the upper body. A hardened neck, shoulder or abdominal muscles can also be signs of tense breathing muscles. – If one has gotten used to an unconscious incorrect posture when breathing, such as breathing with a drawn-in stomach and raised shoulders, a hardening of the neck and abdominal muscles can occur. – If it hurts during chest breathing or if a tight feeling develops during inhalation, tense rib muscles may be behind it.