abdominal breathing

(redirected from Resting breathing)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus.

abdominal breathing

a pattern of inspiration and expiration in which most of the ventilatory work is done with the abdominal muscles. The contractile force of the abdomen is used to elevate the diaphragm. Compare diaphragmatic breathing.

abdominal breathing

Respiration in which most of the work is done by the muscles of the abdominal wall in compressing the abdominal contents and elevating the diaphragm so as to compress the lungs and push out air. The method may be helpful in patients with breathing difficulties.
The diaphragm.
Figure 1: The sites of the main nerve centres and descending pathways in the brain and spinal cord that control voluntary movement, represented in diagrammatic sections.
Figure 2: Ascending nerve pathways and proprioceptive reflex arcs, represented in diagrammatic sections of the brain and spinal cord. Shown on the right: those serving the sensations listed. Shown on the left: reflex pathways for skeletal muscle control. (A) From a muscle spindle, to a synapse with an alpha motor neuron, and a branch to the brain. (B) From a tendon organ, inhibitory branch (broken line) to an alpha motor neuron, and a branch to the brain.
Figure 3: The nervous system.


the musculotendinous partition between the thoracic and abdominal cavities, penetrated by the lower end of the oesophagus, aorta, vena cava and other vessels and nerves. Attached around its periphery to the ribcage and the vertebral column. The main muscle of breathing, controlled by rhythmic impulses from the brain stem via the phrenic nerves. Contraction flattens it, expanding the thorax, reducing the pressure inside the lungs and causing inspiration; in relaxation, it rises again to a 'dome', allowing passive expiration (this diaphragmatic or abdominal breathing is the normal pattern at rest: the abdomen protrudes as the diaphragm is lowered). Lavish blood supply and high oxidative capacity enable the diaphragm to sustain the major increase in the work of breathing during exercise, but at high intensity its demand for blood competes with that of the exercising muscles. Fatigue of the diaphragm (and of other respiratory muscles) has been shown to contribute to exercise limitation. Unique among skeletal muscles in maintaining its activity continuously for a lifetime under involuntary control, yet which can, within limits, be voluntarily overridden. See Figure 1, Figure 2, Figure 3.


pertaining to, affecting or originating in the abdomen. See also abdominal paracentesis, abdominal sounds.

abdominal binding
a wide bandage applied to the abdomen to raise intra-abdominal pressure. Its primary purposes are (1) to limit the displacement of the diaphragm during thoracic compression of cardiopulmonary resuscitation, thereby raising intrathoracic pressures achieved and improving forward blood flow, and (2) to maintain blood volume in the central circulation during hemorrhagic shock.
abdominal breathing
an abnormal form of respiratory movement in which the thorax is fixed and the inspiratory and expiratory movement of the lungs are carried out by the diaphragm and the abdominal muscles so that there are exaggerated movements of the abdominal wall.
abdominal cavity
the body cavity between the diaphragm and the pelvis; contains the abdominal organs.
abdominal enlargement
may result from fluid effusions (transudate, exudate or blood), enlargement of viscera (neoplasia, dilatation, engorgement or physiological phenomena, e.g. pregnancy), intra-abdominal masses or fat. Weakness of the abdominal wall usually results in a pendulous rather than enlarged abdomen.
abdominal lavage
see abdominal lavage.
abdominal muscle ischemia
an unexplained ischemic necrosis of the internal oblique muscle of ewes in late pregnancy which are carrying twins or triplets. Results in ventral hernia but often with little apparent effect on the ease of lambing.
abdominal muscles
the paired muscles of the flank and belly that surround and support the abdominal viscera.
abdominal pad
see abdominal pad.
abdominal pain
may arise from an abdominal organ, the peritoneum or be referred as from spinal nerves.
abdominal regions
arbitrary, descriptive subdivisions of the abdomen made up of three groups of three (like a noughts-and-crosses grid), three along the middle—xiphoid, umbilical and pubic, and three lateral pairs—hypochondriac, lateral abdominal and inguinal.
abdominal silhouette
the shape of the abdomen viewed from behind.
abdominal trier
see trier.
abdominal tunic
see tunica flava abdominis.
abdominal viscera
the organs contained within the abdominal cavity; they include the stomach, intestines, liver, spleen, pancreas, and parts of the urinary and reproductive tracts.
abdominal wall
consists of the parietal peritoneum, the deep and superficial layers of fascia, the transverse abdominal, internal and external abdominal oblique muscles, the subcutaneous tissue and the skin. It contains the umbilicus, the cicatrix marking the entry point of the umbilical cord, and is traversed by the inguinal canal, and at its caudal extremity carries the prepubic tendon, the ventral attachment of the wall to the pubic bones.
abdominal wall rigidity
reflex response to pain of peritonitis, accompanied by pain on palpation or percussion.