Extension of the spine: It’s beneficial. It is harmful.
So what’s with spinal extension?
Both are accurate: It’s good. It is
is the job of your Chicago chiropractor to help you figure
out the role of extension in your Chicago
back pain relief plan and Chicago back pain control plan in the future.
Your Chicago chiropractor at Chiropractic Care is well experienced
in the effects – good and bad – of spinal extension and respects its role in spinal
health and mobility.
Two of the spine’s most noticeable curves –
the cervical and lumbar curves – are lordotic curves meaning they curve inwardly.
Flexion flattens these curves. Extension magnifies them. When a disc herniates
or bulges, it does so into the concavity of the curve and potentially presses
on the spinal nerves resulting in pain. Flexion usually
permits the disc bulge to get away from the
nerve. Extension often allows the disc bulge to press on
the nerves more. Chiropractic Care sets out to help lessen
painful situations like this!
75% of the flexion and extension movement in the low back happens
at the L5-S1 level of the lumbar spine. 20% happens at the
L4-L5 level. Therefore, 95% of flexion and extension of the lumbar spine happens
at these two lower disc levels. Here, degenerative disc disease (minor and more
advanced) happens most. In the cervical spine, C5-C6 is the spinal
level where most of the flexion occurs, and C4-C5 is where
most of the extension takes place. Chicago chiropractic
patients need beneficial extension!
Chiropractic Care respects extension and gets
how it may benefit and hurt. The extensor muscles in the
back weaken and degenerate just like discs degenerate. (1)
Extension helps strengthen these muscles to support the spine. Extension is essential
for this when the spine is healthy enough to perform extension. Extension to a painful spine may hurt. Why? In the cervical spine, flexion decreased disc
protrusion and enlarges the sagittal diameter of the vertebral
canal while extension increased the disc protrusion and narrowed the vertebral canal causing
stenosis. (2) In a degenerative lumbar spine with spinal stenosis, flexion widened
the vertebral canal and reduced pain while extension exacerbated
the stenosis and caused pain. (3) Chiropractic Care knows
the key to eliciting the benefits of extension is in recognizing
when to use extension.
Chicago CHIROPRACTIC USE OF EXTENSION
Chicago chiropractic treatment incorporates
extension into the Chicago chiropractic treatment plan for its advantages.
Cox® Technic applied to the cervical spine dropped
intradiscal pressures to as low as 502 mmHg (4) and to as low as -192 mmHg in
the lumbar spine. (5) Extension increased pressures in the lumbar
spine to 1250 mmHg (the most the transducer could measure).
(4) Reducing intradiscal pressures and back pain is what
Chiropractic Care does for its Chicago back pain
CONTACT Chiropractic Care
Listen to this PODCAST with Dr. David Atiyeh on the Back
Doctor’s Podcast with Dr. Michael Johnson. He shares how he cared for
a patient whose back pain persists after multiple back
surgeries with flexion distraction which relieves her pain
as the table is flexed not extended.
Schedule your Chicago chiropractic appointment
with Chiropractic Care today. Let us explore
the role extension might play in your back pain recovery and future
back pain control strategy.