Vancouver Chiropractic Care Respects Spinal Extension

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.

SPINAL CURVES

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!

SPINAL MOTION

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!

SPINAL 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 patients.

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.

 Vancouver Spine Care Centre understands the role of extension in spinal motion, its necessity, its benefits and potential harmful effects.  
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