An Action Plan for Extension Intolerance

When extending your spine hurts instead of helping

Many people with chronic, compression-based back pain find that extending their spine is the only way they can feel comfortable. But what about those who suffer in an extended position? If this is you, rest assured: you are not in the minority. People who experience discomfort when their spine is extended are likely extension intolerant. Most often, this includes people who spend the majority of their working day on foot: teachers, baristas, athletes, nurses, etc.

What does extension intolerance look like?

Exaggerated lumbar curvature and anterior pelvic tilt are the two biggest indicators of extension intolerance. Standing all day pretty much forces you to change your posture, for better or worse, and for most people, it is the latter. You push your stomach out to find comfort and, in so doing, create a ripple effect of ramifications that destabilize your spine at its very base. If you don’t have a strong, stable set of core muscles to compensate, the effect is amplified. People with extension intolerance most likely suffer from pain in the spinal facet joints rather than from degenerative disc conditions. Other common conditions associated with extension intolerance include: spondyloisthesis and spinal stenosis.

What can we do about extension intolerance?

We can start by addressing your postural deficiency! At our office in Ramsey, we treat extension intolerance with a multi-faceted approach that gives your body the best chance of overcoming this type of discomfort and pain. Using spinal adjustment, we restore spinal alignment and improve range of motion in the spinal joints. Then we use targeted stretching and strengthening to reverse anterior pelvic tilt and boost your spine’s network of support muscles. From here, it is a matter of retraining your body into the right posture for standing. This is the right way to go about treating extension intolerance and it starts with giving our office a call to schedule an appointment today.

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