Manchester Chiropractic Care Respects Spinal Extension

Extension of the spine: It is good. It’s bad. So what is up with extension for the spine? Both are accurate: It’s good. It’s bad. It is the job of your Manchester chiropractor to help you figure out the role of extension in your Manchester back pain relief plan and Manchester back pain control plan moving past the present episode of back pain. Your Manchester chiropractor at Manchester Chiropractic & Sports Injuries 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 presses on the spinal nerves causing pain. Flexion often permits the disc bulge to move off of the nerve. Extension often permits the disc bulge to compress the nerves more. Manchester Chiropractic & Sports Injuries sets out to help decrease 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 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 occurs. Manchester chiropractic patients need beneficial extension!


Manchester Chiropractic & Sports Injuries respects extension and gets how it may help 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 decreased disc protrusion and maximizes the sagittal diameter of the vertebral canal while extension made the disc herniation larger and constricted the vertebral canal causing stenosis. (2) In a degenerative lumbar spine with spinal stenosis, flexion widened the vertebral canal and reduced pain while extension worsened the stenosis and triggered pain. (3) Manchester Chiropractic & Sports Injuries understands the key to getting the benefits of extension is in recognizing when to apply extension.


Manchester chiropractic treatment integrates extension into the Manchester 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 highest amount the transducer could measure). (4) Dropping intradiscal pressures and back pain is what Manchester Chiropractic & Sports Injuries does for its Manchester back pain patients.

CONTACT Manchester Chiropractic & Sports Injuries

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 Manchester chiropractic appointment with Manchester Chiropractic & Sports Injuries today. Let’s discover the role extension might play in your back pain recovery and future back pain control plan.

 Manchester Chiropractic & Sports Injuries knows the role of extension in spinal motion, its necessity, its benefits and potential harmful effects.  
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"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."