Diaphragm Physiotherapy

Diaphragm Muscle

In this article we will discuss the Diaphragm Muscle

In this article, we will discuss the Diaphragm Muscle. So, let’s get started.


The diaphragm is a dome-shaped structure of muscle and fibrous tissue that seperates the thoracic cavity from the abdominal cavity and performs an important function in respiration: as the diaphragm contracts, the volume of the thoracic cavity increases and air is drawn into the lungs.

  • Origin: Vertebral: crura from bodies of L1, 2(left), L1-3 (right). Costal: Medial and lateral arcuate ligament, inner aspect of lower six ribs. Sternal: Two slips from posterior aspect of xiphoid.
  • Insertion: Central tendon of the diaphragm
  • Action: Pushes the abdominal viscera inferiorly, increasing the volume of the thoracic cavity (inspiration)
  • Artery supply: Pericardiacophrenic artery, musculophrenic artery, inferior phrenic arteries
  • Nerve supply: Phrenic and lower intercostal nerves

Clinical Significance

  • Damage to phrenic nerve, cervical spine or brainstem can lead to diaphragmatic palsy
  • Hiatus hernia is a hernia which is common in adults in which the parts of lower esophagus or abdomen that are normally in the abdomen bulge out abnormally through the diaphragm and are present in the thorax.

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