Extension of the spine: It’s good. It
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.
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!
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!
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
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.