Extension of the spine: It’s good. It’s bad.
So what’s with extension for the spine?
Both are accurate: It is valuable. It’s harmful. It
is the job of your Burlington and Hamilton chiropractor to help you establish the role of extension in your Burlington and Hamilton
back pain relief plan and Burlington and Hamilton back pain control plan in the future.
Your Burlington and Hamilton chiropractor at Spinal Care Clinic is well versed
in the effects – good and bad – of spinal extension and respects its role in spinal
health and motion.
Two of the spine’s most noticeable curves –
the cervical and lumbar curves – are lordotic curves meaning they curve concavely.
Flexion flattens these curves. Extension magnifies them. When a disc herniates
or bulges, it does so into the concavity of the curve and potentially pushes
on the spinal nerves causing pain. Flexion often
permits the disc bulge to move off of the
nerve. Extension often permits the disc bulge to press on
the nerves more. Spinal Care Clinic sets out to help decrease
painful situations like this!
75% of the flexion and extension movement in the low back occurs
at the L5-S1 level of the lumbar spine. 20% occurs 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) occurs most. In the cervical spine, C5-C6 is the spinal
level where most of the flexion takes place, and C4-C5 is where
most of the extension takes place. Burlington and Hamilton chiropractic
patients need beneficial extension!
Spinal Care Clinic respects extension and gets
how it may help 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 necessary
for this when the spine is healthy enough to do extension. Extension to a painful spine may be
harmful. 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 relieved pain while extension worsened
the stenosis and produced pain. (3) Spinal Care Clinic understands
the key to eliciting the benefits of extension is in recognizing
when to use extension.
Burlington and Hamilton CHIROPRACTIC USE OF EXTENSION
Burlington and Hamilton chiropractic treatment integrates
extension into the Burlington and Hamilton chiropractic treatment plan for its advantages.
Cox® Technic applied to the cervical spine reduced
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 highest amount the transducer could measure).
(4) Dropping intradiscal pressures and back pain is what
Spinal Care Clinic does for its Burlington and Hamilton back pain
CONTACT Spinal Care Clinic
Listen to this PODCAST with Dr. David Atiyeh on the Back
Doctor’s Podcast with Dr. Michael Johnson. He shares how he helped
a patient whose back pain persists after multiple back
surgeries with flexion distraction which gives her relief
as the table is flexed not extended.
Schedule your Burlington and Hamilton chiropractic appointment
with Spinal Care Clinic today. Let’s figure out
the role extension might play in your back pain recovery and future
back pain control strategy.