Extension of the spine: It is good. It
So what is up with spinal extension?
Both are true: It is good. It’s
bad. It’s the job of your Brooks chiropractor to help you establish the role of extension in your Brooks
back pain relief plan and Brooks back pain control plan in the future.
Your Brooks chiropractor at Soft Health and Healing Clinic 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 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 resulting in pain. Flexion often
allows the disc bulge to get away from the
nerve. Extension often permits the disc bulge to compress
the nerves more. Soft Health and Healing Clinic intends to help reduce
painful situations like this!
75% of the flexion and extension movement in the low back happens
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 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 occurs, and C4-C5 is where
most of the extension takes place. Brooks chiropractic
patients need healthy extension!
Soft Health and Healing Clinic respects extension and understands
how it may help and hurt. The extensor muscles in the
back weaken and degenerate just as discs do. (1)
Extension helps strengthen these muscles to support the spine. Extension is essential
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 decreased disc
protrusion and enlarges the sagittal diameter of the vertebral
canal while extension increased the disc protrusion and constricted the vertebral canal causing
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) Soft Health and Healing Clinic knows
the key to eliciting the benefits of extension is in recognizing
when to apply extension.
Brooks CHIROPRACTIC USE OF EXTENSION
Brooks chiropractic treatment integrates
extension into the Brooks chiropractic treatment plan for its advantages.
Cox® Technic used with the cervical spine dropped
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
Soft Health and Healing Clinic aims to do for its Brooks back pain
CONTACT Soft Health and Healing 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 relieves her pain
as the table is flexed not extended.
Schedule your Brooks chiropractic appointment
with Soft Health and Healing Clinic today. Let’s discover
the role extension might have in your back pain recovery and future
back pain control plan.