X is for Xiphoid Process

The Xiphoid Process is a small piece of cartilage which is located at the very bottom of your sternum – the breast bone. Although technically a joint, the cartilage and bone of the sternum become fused together in adults, so it really is just a small protrusion. But, it is important, because your diaphragm, rectus abdominal and transversus thoracis muscles attach onto it.

Xiphoid Process indicated by the arrow

Xiphoid Process indicated by the arrow

As massage therapists we frequently treat muscles associated with breathing – which includes the diaphragm. Any point where a muscle attaches is a potential area for tightness, adhesions or scar tissue to develop and soft tissue therapy can help to reduce the problems those cause, bringing you pain relief.


For more on the xiphoid process and diaphragmatic pain while running have a read over on this other article. Also this article covers  treatment and prevention of diaphragmatic pain.

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