Extension of the spine: It is good. It
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.
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 pushes
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!
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!
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 increased the disc protrusion 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
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.