Topic Overview

Lung and breathing problems are common in a
spinal cord injury (SCI). This is because you may not
be able to use some of the muscles necessary for breathing, or they may be very
weak. This makes it difficult to breath, cough, and bring up
mucus from the lungs, which leads to a greater risk of
lung infections such as

By practicing breathing every day, you can strengthen the muscles you
use for breathing.

  • Take a deep breath and hold it for a few
    seconds; then slowly breathe out.
  • Take a deep breath, quickly. You
    want to breathe in as much air as you can, as fast as you can. Then breathe out
    as fast as you can.
  • Take three breaths before breathing out. Take a
    first deep breath and hold it. Without breathing out, take another breath and
    hold it. Finally, take a third breath. Then slowly breathe out.


ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer Adam Husney, MD – Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Nancy Greenwald, MD – Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

Current as ofOctober 9, 2017