Extension of the spine: It’s good. It
So what is up with spinal extension?
Both are accurate: It is valuable. It is harmful. It’s the job of your Malverne chiropractor to help you establish the role of extension for your Malverne
back pain relief plan and Malverne back pain control plan in the future.
Your Malverne chiropractor at Malverne Health & Wellness 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 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 pushes
on the spinal nerves causing pain. Flexion usually
allows the disc bulge to get away from the
nerve. Extension often permits the disc bulge to press on
the nerves more. Malverne Health & Wellness wants 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% occurs 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 takes place. Malverne chiropractic
patients need healthy extension!
Malverne Health & Wellness respects extension and understands
how it may benefit 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 perform extension. Extension to a painful spine may be
harmful. 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 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 caused pain. (3) Malverne Health & Wellness understands
the key to eliciting the benefits of extension is in knowing
when to apply extension.
Malverne CHIROPRACTIC USE OF EXTENSION
Malverne chiropractic treatment incorporates
extension into the Malverne chiropractic treatment plan for its benefits.
Cox® Technic applied to 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 highest amount the transducer could measure).
(4) Dropping intradiscal pressures and back pain is what
Malverne Health & Wellness aims to do for its Malverne back pain
CONTACT Malverne Health & Wellness
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 Malverne chiropractic appointment
with Malverne Health & Wellness today. Let’s figure out
the role extension might have in your back pain recovery and future
back pain control strategy.