The Diaphragm is an incredible muscle vital for respiration. It attaches to the inside of the sternum and to the lower 5 ribs. It also fuses onto the pericardium helping the heart stay in place. At the lower end, the tendon attaches onto lumber vertebrae 1,2 and 3.
The diaphragm looks a little like a jelly fish when it contracts and relaxes. It should move rhythmically in waves as we breathe in and out. This 3D video helps us understand the way the diaphragm moves within the chest.
The other interesting aspect of the diaphragm is that the aorta, the vena cava and the oesophagus travel directly through it to enter the chest cavity. It is easy to then understand the impact on these structures if the diaphragm is not sufficiently strong.
How can we strengthen the diaphragm?
Inspitatory muscle traing (IMT) can lead to improvements in balance too!
Comparison of balance changes after inspiratory muscle or Otago exercise training.
Ferraro et al, (2020)
IMT improved dynamic balance and can be consider for balance retraining for the older adults in frailty prevention