Extension of the spine: It’s good. It
So what’s with extension for the spine?
Both are accurate: It is beneficial. It is harmful. It
is the job of your Ashburn chiropractor to help you decide the role of extension for your Ashburn
back pain relief plan and Ashburn back pain control plan in the future.
Your Ashburn chiropractor at Poulin Chiropractic of Herndon and Ashburn is well versed
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 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 resulting in pain. Flexion often
permits the disc bulge to move off of the
nerve. Extension often allows the disc bulge to compress
the nerves more. Poulin Chiropractic of Herndon and Ashburn wants to help lessen
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% is at the
L4-L5 level. Therefore, 95% of flexion and extension of the lumbar spine occurs
at these two lower disc levels. Here, degenerative disc disease (minor and more
advanced) happens 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. Ashburn chiropractic
patients need healthy extension!
Poulin Chiropractic of Herndon and Ashburn respects extension and understands
how it may help and hurt. 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 do 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 increased the disc protrusion and narrowed the vertebral canal causing
stenosis. (2) In a degenerative lumbar spine with spinal stenosis, flexion opened
the vertebral canal and relieved pain while extension worsened
the stenosis and triggered pain. (3) Poulin Chiropractic of Herndon and Ashburn knows
the key to eliciting the benefits of extension is in knowing
when to apply extension.
Ashburn CHIROPRACTIC USE OF EXTENSION
Ashburn chiropractic treatment integrates
extension into the Ashburn chiropractic treatment plan for its advantages.
Cox® Technic used with the cervical spine reduced
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
Poulin Chiropractic of Herndon and Ashburn aims to do for its Ashburn back pain
CONTACT Poulin Chiropractic of Herndon and Ashburn
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 Ashburn chiropractic appointment
with Poulin Chiropractic of Herndon and Ashburn today. Let us discover
the role extension might play in your back pain recovery and future
back pain control strategy.