Hyperventilation Syndrome

Hyperventilation syndrome a name given to a collection of symptoms cause by over-breathing. It is very common, especially in females, asthmatics and those aged 15-55.

When we breathe more quickly and more shallowly than our bodies require, physical changes take place within our body. The level of carbon dioxide in your blood decreases, causing the blood to become more alkaline.

Symptoms of hyperventilation syndrome vary from individual to individual, but can include…

  • Shortness of breath, tightness through the chest and frequent sighing.
  • Tingling or numbness in your arms, fingers, toes or around your mouth.
  • Dizziness, headaches and feeling faint.
  • Palpitations and an increased heart rate.
  • Cold hands and feet, and shivering
  • Sickness and abdominal pain
  • Feeling stressed, tense or anxious

Chronic hyperventilation is generally due to prolonged stress, such as work problems, a bereavement in the family or after a traumatic incident, such as a car crash.

When faced with prolonged stress, the muscles in the upper body tend to become tense. As the nerves supplying the diaphragm originate in this area of the body, this can lead to the diaphragm becoming tight and not functioning fully, leading to the upper thoracic muscles being used for breathing, and causing breathing to become quicker and shallower.

An osteopath will assess your breathing and how your ribs and diaphragm are working. If they believe that you are suffering from hyperventilation syndrome, they may work on your thoracic spine, your diaphragm and your ribs. They may also work on your neck, where the nerves to the diaphragm originate from. They may also give you breathing and relaxation exercises, to help your breathing become slower and deeper.

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Protect Yourself at Work

Maintaining correct sitting posture is important to avoid low back pain, neck pain, headaches and shoulder pain.

  • Tilt the base of your seat – keep hips slightly above knee level.
  • Stay in an upright position right at the back of your chair.
  • Keep feet flat on the floor – get a footrest if needed.
  • Keep screen at eye level, an arm’s length away and directly in front of you.
  • Use a laptop slope with separate keyboard and mouse.
  • Keep elbows supported at 90 degrees.
  • Keep wrists in a neutral position.
  • Keep everything you use regularly within arms reach.
  • Alternate activities between sitting and standing.
  • Keep a bottle of water at your desk.

More information can be found about how we can help you at http://www.kaneandross.co.uk

  • Do the below stretches hourly.Image