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Written by Megan Eckenrode

Spinal Extension using Swan Prep

Common Dysfunction

As a common thread in society today we are spending a lot of time in flexion with activities such as sitting at desk jobs, reading phones, driving, and other common activities that involve hunching and poor posture. Over time this tends to be the body’s new norm which can create inefficiency in movement and often times will present tight overactive muscles that can ultimately lead to pain.

The muscles of the shoulder girdle on the anterior (front) of the body can become shortened and tight and therefore not allow for rotation, proper extension, and overall fluid movement within the thoracic spine. This can in turn create further dysfunction of torque coming from the cervical spine (neck and upper back) and the lumbar (lower back).

Common Symptons of Dysfunction

  • Lower Back Pain
  • Tight Hips
  • Neck Pain
  • Poor Posture
  • Headaches
  • Problems in Breathing
  • Overall Feeling of Tight Muscles
  • Lack of Mobility and Fluidity

Purpose of Spinal Extension

  • The No. 1 priority is to be sure the spine can handle the demands of extension by lying prone (face down) with engagement of core muscles to hold stability and breathing with control.

  • When stability in holding the spine is accomplished begin to add additional movement such as lifting one arm off the floor and holding the spine stable. Alternate arms to challenge the movement and add some difficulty

Commonly Engaged Muscles

Glutes (Glute Maximus)

Illustration of the Glutes (Gluteus Maximus)
Glutes (Gluteus Maximus) – Image Credit: Trail Guide to the Body App

 

Hamstrings (Biceps Femoris)

Illustration of Hamstrings (Biceps Femoris)
Hamstrings (Biceps Femoris) – Image Credit: Trail Guide to the Body App

 

Back Extensors (Multifidi-, Interspinalis-, and Illiocostalis- Erector Spinae Group)

 

Illustration of the Back Extensor (Multifidi Erector Spinae Group)
Back Extensors (Multifidi Erector Spinae Group) – Image Credit: Trail Guide to the Body App

 

Illustration of the Back Extensor (Interspinalis Erector Spinae Group)
Back Extensors (Interspinalis Erector Spinae Group) – Image Credit: Trail Guide to the Body App

 

Illustration of the Back Extensor (Illiocostalis Erector Spinae Group)
Back Extensors (Illiocostalis Erector Spinae Group) – Image Credit: Trail Guide to the Body App

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