Physiotherapy for breathing pattern disorder (hyperventilation)

Breathing is essential to life and occurs naturally with little or no thought. There are many reasons why our breathing can lose its natural rhythm. These triggers cause a disturbance to our breathing which could lead us to experience unpleasant symptoms including breathlessness which may be out of proportion to whatever you are doing.

Having a breathing pattern disorder means you could be using the wrong muscles to breathe, using the upper chest rather than the diaphragm at the bottom of the chest and breathing with the mouth rather than nose. You might breathe more breaths per minute than your body needs, or you could be breathing bigger breaths than your body needs, or your breathing might be irregular. If your breathing is irregular, you might experience frequent yawns, sighs or have the urge to take a deep breath.

The way you breathe can change during illness, periods of stress or distress or when in pain. Once these have passed your breathing should return to normal. However, if there are prolonged or repeated triggers the change in the way you breathe becomes your new normal and your breathing does not return to how it should be.

Further advice and useful resources can be access using the link below.

Physiotherapy for breathing pattern disorders resources for physiotherapists (

Last Modified: 12:26pm 20/06/2024