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Baton Rouge Chiropractic Care Respects Spinal Extension

June 19, 2018

Extension of the spine: It is good. It is bad. So what is up with extension for the spine? Both are accurate: It is good. It’s bad. It’s the job of your Baton Rouge chiropractor to help you determine the role of extension for your Baton Rouge back pain relief plan and Baton Rouge back pain control plan in the future. Your Baton Rouge chiropractor at Medical Spine and Sports Injury and Rehab Centers 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 often allows the disc bulge to move off of the nerve. Extension often allows the disc bulge to compress the nerves more. Medical Spine and Sports Injury and Rehab Centers sets out to help decrease painful situations like this!


75% of the flexion and extension movement in the low back occurs 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) 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. Baton Rouge chiropractic patients need beneficial extension!


Medical Spine and Sports Injury and Rehab Centers respects extension and gets how it may benefit 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 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 made the disc herniation larger and constricted the vertebral canal producing stenosis. (2) In a degenerative lumbar spine with spinal stenosis, flexion opened the vertebral canal and reduced pain while extension worsened the stenosis and caused pain. (3) Medical Spine and Sports Injury and Rehab Centers knows the key to eliciting the benefits of extension is in recognizing when to apply extension.


Baton Rouge chiropractic treatment incorporates extension into the Baton Rouge chiropractic treatment plan for its benefits. 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) Reducing intradiscal pressures and back pain is what Medical Spine and Sports Injury and Rehab Centers does for its Baton Rouge back pain patients.

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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 persists after multiple back surgeries with flexion distraction which gives her relief as the table is flexed not extended.

Schedule your Baton Rouge chiropractic appointment with Medical Spine and Sports Injury and Rehab Centers today. Let’s discover the role extension might play in your back pain recovery and future back pain control plan.

 Medical Spine and Sports Injury and Rehab Centers knows the role of extension in spinal motion, its necessity, its benefits and potential harmful effects.