The respiratory diaphragm is the most important muscle for breathing. It contributes to various processes such as expectoration, vomiting, swallowing, urination, and defecation. It facilitates the venous and lymphatic return and helps viscera located above and below the diaphragm to work properly. Its activity is fundamental in the maintenance of posture and body position changes. It can affect the pain perception and emotional state. Many authors reported on diaphragmatic training by using special instruments, whereas only a few studies focused on manual therapy approaches. To the knowledge of the authors, the existing scientific literature does not exhaustively examines the manual evaluation of the diaphragm in its different portions. A complete evaluation of the diaphragm is mandatory for several professional subjects, such as physiotherapists, osteopaths, and chiropractors not only to elaborate a treatment strategy but also to obtain information on the validity of the training performed on the patient. This article aims to describe a strategy of manual evaluation of the diaphragm, with particular attention to anatomical fundamentals, in order to stimulate further research on this less explored field.
- Manual therapy
- Osteopathic evaluation
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Health Policy