Paramus Chiropractic Care Respects Spinal Extension

Extension of the spine: It is beneficial. It’s harmful. So what is up with extension for the spine? Both are accurate: It’s good. It’s bad. It’s the job of your Paramus chiropractor to help you determine the role of extension in your Paramus back pain relief plan and Paramus back pain control plan moving past the current episode of back pain. Your Paramus chiropractor at Paramus Medical & Sports Rehabilitation Center is well versed in the effects – good and bad – of spinal extension and respects its role in spinal health and motion.


Two of the spine’s most prominent 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 causing pain. Flexion usually allows the disc bulge to move off of the nerve. Extension often permits the disc bulge to press on the nerves more. Paramus Medical & Sports Rehabilitation Center wants to help lessen 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 occurs, and C4-C5 is where most of the extension occurs. Paramus chiropractic patients need beneficial extension!


Paramus Medical & Sports Rehabilitation Center respects extension and gets how it may help 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 do extension. Extension to a painful spine may hurt. Why? In the cervical spine, flexion decreased disc protrusion and enlarges 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 exacerbated the stenosis and triggered pain. (3) Paramus Medical & Sports Rehabilitation Center knows the key to eliciting the benefits of extension is in recognizing when to apply extension.


Paramus chiropractic treatment integrates extension into the Paramus chiropractic treatment plan for its advantages. 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) Reducing intradiscal pressures and back pain is what Paramus Medical & Sports Rehabilitation Center aims to do for its Paramus back pain patients.

CONTACT Paramus Medical & Sports Rehabilitation Center

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 Paramus chiropractic appointment with Paramus Medical & Sports Rehabilitation Center today. Let us discover the role extension might have in your back pain recovery and future back pain control strategy.

 Paramus Medical & Sports Rehabilitation Center understands 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."