What is Dysfunctional Breathing?

What’s This Research About?

The authors reviewed research on the treatment of dysfunctional breathing. This is a difficult task because dysfunctional breathing is confounded by a lack of consistent terminology and lack of gold-standard assessment. For instance, one diagnostic tool, the Nijmegen questionnaire (NQ) was “developed and validated only in people with exercise induced hyperventilation syndrome (HVS) and its use has since been extrapolated” and used to diagnose all sorts of dysfunctional breathing. This is not an ideal protocol. There are also comorbid conditions such as asthma, anxiety, chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD) and other respiratory ailments. For example, some people will test positive for HVS then after follow-up they are diagnosed with underlying uncontrolled asthma. Despite these weaknesses in the research, the authors tease out useful information and create a classification system to use in future clinical practice and research.

Other assessment tools reviewed: Self Evaluation of Breathing Questionnaire (SEBQ), end-tidal CO2, Manual Assessment of Respiratory Motion (MARM), breath holding time, Optoelectronic Plethysmography (OEP).

TITLE: Dysfunctional breathing: a review of the literature and proposal for classification


PUBLICATION: European Respiratory Review

DATE: 2016

AUTHORS : R. Boulding, R. Stacey, R. Niven, S. Fowler

Dysfunctional breathing: Breathing disorders that result in chronic breathing patterns that create dyspnea as well as other symptoms. These symptoms would be in the absence of organic respiratory disease or in excess of regular symptoms, meaning once the symptoms are controlled they still have dysfunctional breathing.

Dyspnea: Difficult or labored breathing, feeling of breathlessness.

Hyperventilation syndrome (HVS): Chronic overbreathing due to psychological or physiological conditions.

Nijmegen questionnaire (NQ): A 16 point questionnaire with five point scale questions that assesses symptoms associated with dysfunctional breathing.

The rest of this article is only available to members. Please…

Log In Become a Member View Full Sample Article

By |2018-01-23T12:40:59-04:00January 23rd, 2018|Breathing|0 Comments

About the Author:

Catherine brings to her role as a personal trainer a wealth of education and years of athletic experience with training in track and cross country running, gymnastics and rowing, boxing and yoga. She received a B.A. in Sports Medicine and Exercise Physiology from the University of San Francisco and an M.A. in Kinesiology at San Francisco State University. She also holds certifications in ACE, FMS I and II, PRI (Myokinematics, Respiration), Neuromuscular therapy, FRCms, and FR. As an athlete she sustained several injuries, which led her on the path to study and understand the body and the mechanisms of healing. "I was fascinated with everything I learned. Throughout college, I worked with USF athletes as an athletic trainer in the prevention and rehabilitation of injuries. Soon I was able to transfer all of this knowledge into helping everyday people with their aches and pains." Her thirst for knowledge is never quenched and she continues to evolve her practice to stay up to date on the latest research and methods to help her clients with present injuries, pain, and best ways to acquire strength to maintain a healthy body. "I believe assessment is still key in starting with clients but stability, global strength and everyday movement are key to people's longevity, and quality of life. If people can slowly and systematically expose their bodies to different loads to gain strength and mobility they will better succeed to get the most out of their bodies." Learn more about Catherine Cowey.