Extension of the spine: It’s valuable. It’s harmful.
So what is up with extension for the spine?
Both are true: It’s good. It’s
is the job of your Eugene chiropractor to help you determine the role of extension in your Eugene
back pain relief plan and Eugene back pain control plan in the future.
Your Eugene chiropractor at Rethwill Chiropractic Clinic is well versed
in the effects – good and bad – of spinal extension and respects its role in spinal
health and mobility.
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 usually
allows the disc bulge to get away from the
nerve. Extension often allows the disc bulge to compress
the nerves more. Rethwill Chiropractic Clinic intends 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% happens 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) 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 takes place. Eugene chiropractic
patients need beneficial extension!
Rethwill Chiropractic Clinic respects extension and gets
how it may help and hurt. The extensor muscles in the
back weaken and degenerate just as 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 reduced disc
protrusion and enlarges the sagittal diameter of the vertebral
canal while extension increased the disc protrusion and narrowed the vertebral canal producing
stenosis. (2) In a degenerative lumbar spine with spinal stenosis, flexion widened
the vertebral canal and reduced pain while extension exacerbated
the stenosis and triggered pain. (3) Rethwill Chiropractic Clinic understands
the key to getting the benefits of extension is in recognizing
when to use extension.
Eugene CHIROPRACTIC USE OF EXTENSION
Eugene chiropractic treatment incorporates
extension into the Eugene 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 increased pressures in the lumbar
spine to 1250 mmHg (the most the transducer could measure).
(4) Reducing intradiscal pressures and back pain is what
Rethwill Chiropractic Clinic aims to do for its Eugene back pain
CONTACT Rethwill Chiropractic Clinic
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 persists after multiple back
surgeries with flexion distraction which relieves her pain
as the table is flexed not extended.
Schedule your Eugene chiropractic appointment
with Rethwill Chiropractic Clinic today. Let us discover
the role extension might play in your back pain recovery and future
back pain control plan.
"This information and website content is not intended to diagnose, guarantee results, or recommend specific treatment or activity. It is designed to educate and inform only. Please consult your physician for a thorough examination leading to a diagnosis and well-planned treatment strategy. See more details on the DISCLAIMER
page. Content is reviewed by Dr. James M. Cox I