Flexion-distraction therapy is an effective way of treating low back pain. Specifically, this technique is aimed at treating disc problems such as herniations, bulges, and tears. It is also very effective at treating sciatica, spinal stenosis, sprains/strains, facet problems, and other low back joint and soft tissue problems.
Flexion-distraction is a gentle, low-force therapy that works with the body’s natural design to aid it in the healing process. A special table has been developed for effective use of this technique. The flexion-distraction table is used to apply long axis traction/stretching and flexion to the lumbar spine, which painlessly can help resolve disc and joint problems. It is a powerfully effective conservative approach to low back and leg pain, and an alternative to explore before surgery.
Scientific Findings Regarding Flexion Distraction Therapy
1. The disc space increases in height, relieving irritation of the spinal nerve.
2. Decreases disc protrusion (bulge/herniation) and reduces stenosis (narrowing).
3. Tensions the ligaments to reduce stenosis.
4. Creates negative pressure to re-hydrate the disc and pull herniation back into disc.
5. Increases metabolite transport into the disc.
6. Opens the posterior facet joints and reduces posterior disc stress.
7. Intervertebral foraminal openings enlarge (up to 28%!) giving patency to the nerve (un-pinches nerves)
Reference: Cox JM, Feller JA, Cox-Cid JA: Topics in Clinical Chiropractic 1996; 3(3):45-59.