Shortness of breath and breathing difficulties in fibromyalgia

Shortness of breath (dyspnea) and breathing problems are a common symptom in people with fibromyalgia, in fact, it reports that more than half of patients with fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome develop a pattern of breathing disorders

Respiratory disorders usually cause a wide range of alarming symptoms, including mental confusion, dizziness, irritability, chest pain, numbness and more.

respiratory problems


shortness of breath Some theories try to explain why patients with fibromyalgia feel out of breath, for example:

– There is an abnormality in the brain stem, which could be responsible for dyspnea (this theory is not fully proven)

– The lack of breath could be the result of a lack of regulation of the thyroid hormone; This causes weakness of the respiratory muscles, including the diaphragm and the phrenic nerves. What happens is that the nerves do not send strong enough signals to the diaphragm, which hampers their ability to contract normally.

-People may experience the feeling of shortness of breath short breaths.


Unknowingly, many people with fibromyalgia perform rapid and very small breaths using the small muscles in their chest, instead of doing slow, deep breathing with the large muscles of the abdomen.

These changes in breathing are due, in large part, to a fear on the part of people to feel more pain. Many of them suffer from pain in the chest area and avoid deep breathing because they associate with an increase in this disease.

The pain leads to a model of superficial breathing, since only the upper part of the chest is enlarged and not the lower abdominal muscles.

These changes are very subtle and most people do not realize that their breathing is out of sync.

What many people do not know is that short breaths can lead to other problems.

Deep abdominal breathing has a calming effect on the person, in addition to causing the body to receive more oxygen; In contrast, superficial breaths make the individual tense and anxious, which tends to aggravate the pain of fibromyalgia, not to mention that sleep disorders also worsen.


The reality is that both people in good health with fibromyalgia tend to breathe incorrectly. Deep breathing should cause the stomach to expand outward and not contract, as most people do.

There are certain strategies to start breathing properly, which may help reduce shortness of breath.

Oriental medicines teach that body energy flow “chi” can be blocked due to inadequate breathing. The practice of Qi Gong could be beneficial for fibromyalgia patients with these types of problems, because they are techniques and exercises to improve breathing and “chi”.

If a person with fibromyalgia feels pain in his chest, which causes difficulty in breathing deeply, he can apply moist heat to his chest to relax the muscles. You can take a hot bath, go to the bath or sauna every day, which will help improve this painful tension in the long run.

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