Extension of the spine: It is beneficial. It is harmful.
So what’s with spinal extension?
Both are accurate: It’s valuable. It’s harmful. It’s the job of your Vancouver chiropractor to help you establish the role of extension for 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 Spine Care Centre is well trained
in the effects – good and bad – of spinal extension and respects its role in spinal
health and motion.
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 pushes
on the spinal nerves causing pain. Flexion usually
permits the disc bulge to get away from the
nerve. Extension often permits the disc bulge to compress
the nerves more. Vancouver Spine Care Centre sets out to help decrease
painful situations like this!
75% of the flexion and extension movement in the low back is
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 occurs. Vancouver chiropractic
patients need healthy extension!
Vancouver Spine Care Centre 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 essential
for this when the spine is healthy enough to do extension. Extension to a painful spine may hurt. 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 reduced pain while extension worsened
the stenosis and caused pain. (3) Vancouver Spine Care Centre understands
the key to eliciting the benefits of extension is in recognizing
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 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
Vancouver Spine Care Centre does for its Vancouver back pain
CONTACT Vancouver Spine Care Centre
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 Vancouver chiropractic appointment
with Vancouver Spine Care Centre today. Let’s discover
the role extension might play in your back pain recovery and future
back pain control strategy.