Extension of the spine: It’s good. It’s bad.
So what is up with extension for the spine?
Both are true: It is valuable. It’s harmful. It’s the job of your Baton Rouge chiropractor to help you decide the role of extension in your Baton Rouge
back pain relief plan and Baton Rouge back pain control plan moving
past the existing episode of back pain.
Your Baton Rouge chiropractor at Capitol Spine & Rehabilitation 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 inwardly.
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
permits the disc bulge to get away from the
nerve. Extension often permits the disc bulge to compress
the nerves more. Capitol Spine & Rehabilitation wants to help reduce
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% occurs 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 occurs, and C4-C5 is where
most of the extension takes place. Baton Rouge chiropractic
patients need beneficial extension!
Capitol Spine & Rehabilitation respects extension and gets
how it may benefit and harm. The extensor muscles in the
back weaken and degenerate just like 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 constricted the vertebral canal causing
stenosis. (2) In a degenerative lumbar spine with spinal stenosis, flexion opened
the vertebral canal and reduced pain while extension exacerbated
the stenosis and produced pain. (3) Capitol Spine & Rehabilitation understands
the key to eliciting the benefits of extension is in recognizing
when to apply extension.
Baton Rouge CHIROPRACTIC USE OF EXTENSION
Baton Rouge chiropractic treatment integrates
extension into the Baton Rouge chiropractic treatment plan for its benefits.
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 escalated pressures in the lumbar
spine to 1250 mmHg (the most the transducer could measure).
(4) Reducing intradiscal pressures and back pain is what
Capitol Spine & Rehabilitation does for its Baton Rouge back pain
CONTACT Capitol Spine & Rehabilitation
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 continues after multiple back
surgeries with flexion distraction which relieves her pain
as the table is flexed not extended.
Schedule your Baton Rouge chiropractic appointment
with Capitol Spine & Rehabilitation today. Let us discover
the role extension might have in your back pain recovery and future
back pain control plan.