chiropractor fremont

Fighting Against Extension-Based Back Pain

Who is at risk?

Many people who live with chronic back pain find comfort and relief when extending their spine. But a certain subset of the population- mostly those who spend a lot of time standing, may suffer from too much extension; baristas, teachers, mechanics, and athletes are among the most at-risk demographic. This pain and discomfort, known as extension intolerance, can be identified by changes in your posture, including:

  • Excessive lordotic curve in the lumbar spinal segment
  • Anterior pelvic tilt, which makes your butt stick out like Donald Duck

These two factors combine to destabilize your spine and wreak havoc, especially in the lower back. So how do we ease extension intolerance?

Why is extension intolerance dangerous?

The simple truth is that excessive curvature in the spine can be just as dangerous as a flattening of the curvature, which is the result of the opposite movement, flexion. Extension-based pain is usually experienced in the spinal facet joints, rather than the intervertebral discs; other common flexion-related injuries include spondyloisthesis and spinal stenosis. Even more worrying is that many people who present with flexion-intolerance also present with compromised core stability, meaning that their spine is resting at twice the risk for damage and dysfunction. 

How do I know if I have extension intolerance?

One way you can determine if you are suffering from extension intolerance is by performing this simple test:

  • Lay supine with what you deem as a normal curvature in the psine
  • Now press your back to the ground. 
  • If this flattening effect feels better than before, you may have extension intolerance. 

What to do about extension intolerance

We need to work together to reset your posture. We start by using spinal adjustments to reset spinal alignment, alleviate nerve impingement and improve range of motion in the spinal joints. Next, we train your body out of anterior pelvic tilt using specific exercises and stretches; this helps prevent the pelvis from pulling your spine out of alignment and contributing to your pain. We then work on exercises that strengthen the core’s ability to support your spine and counsel you on better postural habits that you can carry throughout the day. This is profound, effective spinal relief and it starts by giving our office in Fremont a call to schedule an appointment today. 

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