The body is an amazingly complex machine as it allows the individual to move each section, like the back, arms, legs, torso, neck, and head, without feeling any pain. Each section has various muscles, ligaments, and tissues that surround the skeletal joint and allow mobility, stability, and range of motion when the host is active. However, when underlying conditions start to affect the body, each section can be affected and cause pain-like symptoms associated with the muscles, ligaments, and tissues. Sometimes it can even cause referred pain in the vital organs, leading to more problems when not treated immediately. To that point, various exercises combined with therapy can help prevent pain-like symptoms from affecting the body and restore mobility to the upper and lower portions. This 2-part series will look at an exercise called hyperextension, which can help strengthen these muscles in the upper and lower portions. Part 1 will examine how hyperextension affects the body and how it is associated with low back pain. Part 2 will look at the various hyperextension exercises that can help strengthen each muscle group. We refer our patients to certified medical providers that provide available therapy treatments for individuals suffering from chronic pain-like conditions associated with low back pain. We encourage each patient when it is appropriate by referring them to associated medical providers based on their diagnosis or needs. We understand and accept that education is a marvelous way when asking our providers’ crucial questions at the patient’s request and acknowledgment. Dr. Jimenez, D.C., makes use of this information as an educational service. Disclaimer
Have you been experiencing pain-like symptoms in different areas of your body? Does it hurt when twisting and turning? Or do you constantly ache when bending over? Many of these symptoms are associated with muscle and joint pain that can affect the body and lead to hyperextension. Hyperextension is when a skeletal joint has a greater range of motion without feeling pain.
When a person suffers from a traumatic injury or has a chronic condition, it can cause the various muscles in the body to extend their range of motion and cause more pain that can affect their quality of life. A perfect example would be a person who is double-jointed in their hands, knee, elbows, and back. Even though many double-jointed people can further extend their joints, it can lead to various issues that can impact the body and lead to pain-like symptoms. For example, studies reveal that if a person has been in an auto accident and suffers from whiplash, the hyper-extended muscles can cause pain-like symptoms in the soft tissues, leading to neck pain. When this happens, it can cause symptoms of limited mobility and affect the individual.
Now if it is chronic conditions like EDS (Ehlers-Danlos syndrome) or chronic back conditions, it can affect the lower extremity muscles while affecting the mobility and stability of the body. Studies reveal that low back pain associated with hyperextension is developed when various factors can cause the spine to be in subluxation and compress the different vertebrate discs, muscles, ligaments, and tissues, which can cause pain over time. Additional studies have also found that when there are injuries in the thoracolumbar and lumbar spine, it is often combined with various forces that can cause mobility issues which leads to spinal subluxation and spinal compression.
Biomedical physiologist Alex Jimenez will be explaining a specific exercise called Hyperextensions. Hyperextensions are an exercise that is designed to strengthen the erectors of the spine. They usually involve an extension type of maneuver for the concentric portion and AF flexion for the eccentric portion. Hyperextension relies on a pivot point, usually at the hips, which stresses the lower back muscles. It also allows you to work on the lower back muscles, which we said, the glutes, hamstrings, and even the mid back, depending on the arc of the movement. So why are hyperextensions important? They strengthen the lower back muscles, also known as the spinal rectors, and are responsible for stabilizing the spine. It can help decrease the chances of lower back pain or injuries, and it also helps strengthen your deadlift and squats. And it does this by allowing you to have better stabilization throughout these dynamic movements. So what muscles are involved? Numerous muscles are involved in the upper and lower body extremities, allowing hyperextension exercises to provide more range of motion without pain. The next part will show different variations of hyperextension exercises that can help each muscle.
Spinal subluxation often leads to low back pain and can affect a person’s ability to move. So how is hyperextension associated with low back pain? Some factors leading to low back pain, like incorrect posture or excessive lifting of heavy objects, can affect the low back muscles. The low back muscles support the low back, stabilize the spine, and help maintain good posture. When these muscles have been overused, it can lead to various injuries. All is not lost, as studies reveal that hyperextension exercises for low back pain, when done slowly, can provide isometric endurance improvement to the back muscles and allow flexibility back to the spine. Hyperextension exercises can strengthen the lower back muscles and reduce pain. However, exercise combined with chiropractic care can enable the body to restore itself and reduce the pain-like symptoms associated with spinal subluxation to allow the range of motion back in the muscles.
Hyperextension in the body allows the various muscle groups to extend their full range of motion. When multiple factors or chronic conditions begin to affect the different muscles in the body, it can lead to pain-like symptoms associated with the upper and lower extremities. Fortunately, the combination of exercises and chiropractic care can restore the body and the muscles to relax. In part 2 of this series, we will look at the various hyperextension exercises for low back pain and how they can help increase the body’s range of motion.
Johnson, G. “Hyperextension Soft Tissue Injuries of the Cervical Spine–a Review.” Journal of Accident & Emergency Medicine, U.S. National Library of Medicine, Jan. 1996, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1342595/.
MACNAB, I. “Low Back Pain. the Hyperextension Syndrome.” Canadian Medical Association Journal, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 15 Sept. 1955, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1826142/.
Manniche, C, et al. “Intensive Dynamic Back Exercises with or without Hyperextension in Chronic Back Pain after Surgery for Lumbar Disc Protrusion. A Clinical Trial.” Spine, U.S. National Library of Medicine, Apr. 1993, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/8484146/.
Oh, In-Soo, et al. “Pure Hyperextension Injury of the Lower Lumbar Spine with an Ureteral Impingement.” European Spine Journal : Official Publication of the European Spine Society, the European Spinal Deformity Society, and the European Section of the Cervical Spine Research Society, U.S. National Library of Medicine, May 2013, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3641240/.
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The information herein on "An Overview Of Hyperextension On The Body (Part 1)" is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional, or licensed physician, and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make your own healthcare decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified healthcare professional.
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Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, CCST, IFMCP*, CIFM*, ATN*
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Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, CIFM*, IFMCP*, ATN*, CCST
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