West Des Moines Chiropractic Care Respects Spinal Extension

Extension of the spine: It is good. It is bad. So what is up with extension for the spine? Both are accurate: It’s valuable. It’s harmful. It’s the job of your West Des Moines chiropractor to help you decide the role of extension in your West Des Moines back pain relief plan and West Des Moines back pain control plan moving past the present episode of back pain. Your West Des Moines chiropractor at Executive Chiropractic of Iowa 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 noticeable 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 permits the disc bulge to get away from the nerve. Extension often permits the disc bulge to press on the nerves more. Executive Chiropractic of Iowa wants to help decrease painful situations like this!

SPINAL MOTION

75% of the flexion and extension movement in the low back happens at the L5-S1 level of the lumbar spine. 20% happens 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 takes place, and C4-C5 is where most of the extension occurs. West Des Moines chiropractic patients need healthy extension!

SPINAL EXTENSION

Executive Chiropractic of Iowa respects extension and understands how it may benefit and harm. The extensor muscles in the back weaken and degenerate just like 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 hurt. Why? In the cervical spine, flexion decreased disc protrusion and maximizes the sagittal diameter of the vertebral canal while extension made the disc herniation larger and constricted the vertebral canal producing stenosis. (2) In a degenerative lumbar spine with spinal stenosis, flexion opened the vertebral canal and reduced pain while extension exacerbated the stenosis and triggered pain. (3) Executive Chiropractic of Iowa knows the key to eliciting the benefits of extension is in recognizing when to apply extension.

West Des Moines CHIROPRACTIC USE OF EXTENSION

West Des Moines chiropractic treatment integrates extension into the West Des Moines 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 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 Executive Chiropractic of Iowa does for its West Des Moines back pain patients.

CONTACT Executive Chiropractic of Iowa

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 West Des Moines chiropractic appointment with Executive Chiropractic of Iowa today. Let’s discover the role extension might play in your back pain recovery and future back pain control strategy.

 Executive Chiropractic of Iowa understands the role of extension in spinal motion, its necessity, its benefits and potential harmful effects.  
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