Extension of the spine: It is valuable. It is harmful.
So what’s with extension for the spine?
Both are accurate: It is beneficial. It’s harmful. It
is the job of your Vancouver chiropractor to help you figure
out the role of extension in your Vancouver
back pain relief plan and Vancouver back pain control plan moving
past the existing episode of back pain.
Your Vancouver chiropractor at Vancouver Disc Centers is well experienced
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 resulting in pain. Flexion often
allows the disc bulge to move off of the
nerve. Extension often permits the disc bulge to compress
the nerves more. Vancouver Disc Centers intends 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% 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) 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. Vancouver chiropractic
patients need healthy extension!
Vancouver Disc Centers respects extension and understands
how it may help and harm. The extensor muscles in the
back weaken and degenerate just as 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 reduced 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 exacerbated
the stenosis and triggered pain. (3) Vancouver Disc Centers understands
the key to eliciting the benefits of extension is in knowing
when to use extension.
Vancouver CHIROPRACTIC USE OF EXTENSION
Vancouver chiropractic treatment incorporates
extension into the Vancouver 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) Reducing intradiscal pressures and back pain is what
Vancouver Disc Centers aims to do for its Vancouver back pain
CONTACT Vancouver Disc Centers
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 Vancouver chiropractic appointment
with Vancouver Disc Centers today. Let’s explore
the role extension might play in your back pain recovery and future
back pain control plan.
"This information and website content is not intended to diagnose, guarantee results, or recommend specific treatment or activity. It is designed to educate and inform only. Please consult your physician for a thorough examination leading to a diagnosis and well-planned treatment strategy. See more details on the DISCLAIMER
page. Content is reviewed by Dr. James M. Cox I