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Diseases & Conditions

Positions to Reduce Shortness of Breath

(Also Called 'Positions to Reduce Shortness of Breath - Care & Treatment')

In conjunction with pursed lip breathing and diaphragmatic breathing, use these breathing positions to help you reduce shortness of breath.

sitting 1

These positions are helpful when you have shortness of breath during activity, emotional excitement, exposure to adverse weather conditions or when you feel tense and need to relax.

Sitting

  • Rest your feet flat on the floor.
  • Lean your chest forward slightly.
  • Rest your elbows on your knees or rest your chin on your hands.
  • Relax your neck and shoulder muscles.

-OR-

sitting 2

  • Rest your feet flat on the floor.
  • Lean your chest forward slightly.
  • Rest your arms on a table.
  • Rest your head on your forearms or on some pillows.

Standing

standing 2

standing 1

  • Stand with your feet shoulder width apart.
  • Lean your hips against a wall.
  • Rest your hands on your thighs.
  • Relax your shoulders, leaning forward slightly and dangling your arms in front of you.

-OR-

  • Rest your elbows or hands on a piece on furniture, just below shoulder height.
  • Relax your neck, resting your head on your forearms.
  • Relax your shoulders.

Sleeping

Lie on your side with a pillow between your legs and your head elevated with pillows. Keep your back straight.

sleeping 1

-OR-

Lie on your back with your head elevated and your knees bent, with a pillow under your knees.

sleeping 2

References

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This information is provided by the Cleveland Clinic and is not intended to replace the medical advice of your doctor or health care provider. Please consult your health care provider for advice about a specific medical condition. This document was last reviewed on: 12/31/2011...#9446