What Are Retractions?
Retractions are when the areas below the ribs, between the ribs, and in the neck sink in each time someone inhales (breathes in). They're a sign that the person is working hard to breathe. Normally, when you take a breath, your diaphragm and the muscles around your ribs create a vacuum that pulls air into your lungs (kind of like sucking liquid through a straw). But if someone has 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.