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Richmond Chiropractic Care Respects Spinal Extension

Extension of the spine: It’s good. It is bad. So what’s with spinal extension? Both are true: It is valuable. It’s harmful. It is the job of your Richmond chiropractor to help you figure out the role of extension in your Richmond back pain relief plan and Richmond back pain control plan moving past the current episode of back pain. Your Richmond chiropractor at Johnson Chiropractic is well experienced 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 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 presses on the spinal nerves causing pain. Flexion usually permits the disc bulge to get away from the nerve. Extension often allows the disc bulge to press on the nerves more. Johnson Chiropractic sets out to help reduce 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 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 occurs. Richmond chiropractic patients need healthy extension!

SPINAL EXTENSION

Johnson Chiropractic respects extension and understands 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 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 widened the vertebral canal and reduced pain while extension worsened the stenosis and produced pain. (3) Johnson Chiropractic understands the key to eliciting the benefits of extension is in knowing when to apply extension.

Richmond CHIROPRACTIC USE OF EXTENSION

Richmond chiropractic treatment incorporates extension into the Richmond chiropractic treatment plan for its benefits. Cox® Technic applied to 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 most the transducer could measure). (4) Reducing intradiscal pressures and back pain is what Johnson Chiropractic aims to do for its Richmond back pain patients.

CONTACT Johnson Chiropractic

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 continues after multiple back surgeries with flexion distraction which relieves her pain as the table is flexed not extended.

Schedule your Richmond chiropractic appointment with Johnson Chiropractic today. Let’s explore the role extension might play in your back pain recovery and future back pain control strategy.

 Johnson Chiropractic knows the role of extension in spinal motion, its necessity, its benefits and potential harmful effects.  
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