Extension of the spine: It is good. It’s bad.
So what is up with extension for the spine?
Both are true: It’s valuable. It is harmful. It’s the job of your Minster chiropractor to help you establish the role of extension in your Minster
back pain relief plan and Minster back pain control plan moving
past the existing episode of back pain.
Your Minster chiropractor at Minster Chiropractic Center 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 prominent 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 presses
on the spinal nerves causing pain. Flexion often
allows the disc bulge to move off of the
nerve. Extension often permits the disc bulge to press on
the nerves more. Minster Chiropractic Center sets out to help lessen
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% is at the
L4-L5 level. Therefore, 95% of flexion and extension of the lumbar spine occurs
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. Minster chiropractic
patients need healthy extension!
Minster Chiropractic Center respects extension and understands
how it may help and hurt. 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 perform 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 made the disc herniation
larger and narrowed the vertebral canal producing
stenosis. (2) In a degenerative lumbar spine with spinal stenosis, flexion opened
the vertebral canal and relieved pain while extension exacerbated
the stenosis and produced pain. (3) Minster Chiropractic Center knows
the key to eliciting the benefits of extension is in knowing
when to apply extension.
Minster CHIROPRACTIC USE OF EXTENSION
Minster chiropractic treatment incorporates
extension into the Minster chiropractic treatment plan for its benefits.
Cox® Technic used with 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 escalated pressures in the lumbar
spine to 1250 mmHg (the highest amount the transducer could measure).
(4) Reducing intradiscal pressures and back pain is what
Minster Chiropractic Center aims to do for its Minster back pain
CONTACT Minster Chiropractic Center
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 gives her relief
as the table is flexed not extended.
Schedule your Minster chiropractic appointment
with Minster Chiropractic Center today. Let’s explore
the role extension might play in your back pain recovery and future
back pain control strategy.