Extension of the spine: It is good. It’s bad.
So what’s with spinal extension?
Both are true: It is beneficial. It is harmful. It
is the job of your Ottawa chiropractor to help you determine the role of extension in your Ottawa
back pain relief plan and Ottawa back pain control plan in the future.
Your Ottawa chiropractor at The practice of Dr. Tim Schneider 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 noticeable curves –
the cervical and lumbar curves – are lordotic curves meaning they curve concavely.
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 resulting in pain. Flexion usually
allows the disc bulge to get away from the
nerve. Extension often permits the disc bulge to compress
the nerves more. The practice of Dr. Tim Schneider intends to help reduce
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% happens 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 takes place, and C4-C5 is where
most of the extension takes place. Ottawa chiropractic
patients need beneficial extension!
The practice of Dr. Tim Schneider respects extension and gets
how it may benefit and hurt. The extensor muscles in the
back weaken and degenerate just like 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 made the disc herniation
larger and narrowed the vertebral canal producing
stenosis. (2) In a degenerative lumbar spine with spinal stenosis, flexion widened
the vertebral canal and relieved pain while extension worsened
the stenosis and triggered pain. (3) The practice of Dr. Tim Schneider knows
the key to getting the benefits of extension is in recognizing
when to apply extension.
Ottawa CHIROPRACTIC USE OF EXTENSION
Ottawa chiropractic treatment integrates
extension into the Ottawa 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 highest amount the transducer could measure).
(4) Dropping intradiscal pressures and back pain is what
The practice of Dr. Tim Schneider aims to do for its Ottawa back pain
CONTACT The practice of Dr. Tim Schneider
Listen to this PODCAST with Dr. David Atiyeh on the Back
Doctor’s Podcast with Dr. Michael Johnson. He shares how he cared for
a patient whose back pain continues after multiple back
surgeries with flexion distraction which gives her relief
as the table is flexed not extended.
Schedule your Ottawa chiropractic appointment
with The practice of Dr. Tim Schneider today. Let us figure out
the role extension might have in your back pain recovery and future
back pain control strategy.