All Children's Hospital Logo

Health Information Library

Parents > Asthma Center > Words to Know > Definition: Retractions
Definition: Retractions
Retractions
(Retracciones)

Retractions are a sign that someone is working hard to breathe. The areas below the ribs, between the ribs, and in the neck sink in with each attempt to inhale. Normally, when you take a breath, your diaphragm and the muscles around your ribs create a vacuum that pulls air into your lungs. (It's kind of like sucking liquid through a straw.) But if a person is having trouble breathing, extra muscles kick into action. The use of these muscles results in retractions, which can be seen as the person tries to inhale (breathe in).

Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.
© 1995-2014 The Nemours Foundation/KidsHealth. All rights reserved.

Additional Info

Pocket Doc Mobile App
Maps and Locations (Mobile)
Programs & Services
Employment
For Health Professionals
For Patients & Families
Contact Us
Find a Doctor
News
CME

All Children's Hospital
501 6th Ave South
St. Petersburg, FL 33701
(727) 898-7451
(800) 456-4543

Use Normal Template
© 2014 All Children's Hospital - All Rights Reserved