This article is very interesting to help with the visualization of this very important muscle called the Diaphragm. In Osteopathy, the Diaphragm is a key structure to assess; it is also called the main breathing muscle.
The Diaphragm has many anatomical connections with visceras/internal organs: two main blood vessels go through it (vena cava and abdominal aorta), its movement during inhalation and exhalation encourage intestinal transit/bowel movements, helping to drain the body toxins, and it also delimits the boundary between the thoracic cavity and the abdominal cavity. Therefore, the Diaphragm muscle is a key area to check due to its implication in the balance between the thoracic pressure and the abdominal pressure. Any dysfunction affecting this muscle will have consequences on the body function.
The diaphragm muscle should not be seen as a segment but as part of a body system. This muscle is an important crossroads of information for the entire body, from the trigeminal system to the pelvic floor, passing from thoracic diaphragm to the floor of the mouth: the network of breath. Viola Frymann first spoke of the treatment of three diaphragms, and more recently four diaphragms have been discussed. Current scientific knowledge has led to discussion of the manual treatment of five diaphragms. This article highlights the anatomic connections and fascial and neurologic aspects of the diaphragm muscle, with four other structures considered as diaphragms: that is, the five diaphragms. The logic of the manual treatment proposed here is based on a concept and diagnostic work that should be the basis for any area of the body: The patient never just has a localized symptom but rather a system that adapts to a question.”
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Adults can experience aches or pain resulting from a trauma, their lifestyle and/or repetitive strain from their position at work. Therefore, the osteopath will assess the posture and possible causes of somatic dysfunctions. There is a balance to find between static or dynamic activity. Previous trauma (physical and/or emotional) could have predisposed to the current problem if left unresolved. The body has very strong ability to compensate or adapt up to a certain point. Inflammation is seen as a signal sent by the body to the brain that something is wrong and needs to be addressed. It is very important to acknowledge those signals, and make changes to prevent further health problems. Osteopathy can be helpful to identify the problem and releasing tightness, aches, pain allowing the body to recover and heal naturally when it is possible. Patients need to make some changes in their life to prevent the same problem to come back or get worse. Osteopathy is known for helping when a problem has arisen but prevention and maintenance is important as well. For an osteopath, other symptoms are seen as signals too. Some symptoms can be related to mechanical dysfunctions in the body. The main links are vascular and/or neurologic. This is the reason why, each individual is anatomically and physiologically submitted to the same rules, but each individual has a different story, and variations in adaptation and compensation pattern. The osteopath will try to understand how you ended up experiencing the symptoms you are presenting with and guide you towards a specialist when necessary.