What is Flexion Distraction Therapy?
Flexion Distraction Therapy is a gentle treatment technique that is used to treat patients with various lower back pain related conditions. This technique uses a specialized table that allows for movement of the lower body by flexing, extending, and pivoting side to side. This specialized table also allows for axial distraction, meaning it can provide traction to specific segments of the lower back in combination with flexion.
Your practitioner will create distraction by combining flexion and traction while manually applying gentle pressure to the specific lower back segments causing pain in order to decompress the joints and lumbar discs and help to relieve the pain and symptoms you’ve been experiencing.
How does Flexion Distraction Therapy work?
Flexion distraction works to help reduce pain and symptoms in two primary ways:
1) Joint Decompression
2) Negative Pressure
Joint decompression is achieved by creating a distraction force at the facet joint, which is the joint that is made up of the parts of the vertebrae that articulate with segments above and below. The distraction force helps to “open up” these joints, which helps to reduce pain and restore range of motion.
Negative pressure (when the pressure within a space is less than the pressure outside of that space) is utilized when treating disc herniations, in which the nucleus pulposus (center of the disc) has herniated through the annulus fibrosus (outer portion of the disc).
In a nutshell, the distraction forces decreases the pressure inside of the disc and causes the nucleus pulposus to get sucked back into the disc as a result of this negative pressure. This may help to decrease the herniation, which can decrease the pain and related symptoms of disc herniations including sciatica (pain down the leg).
When combined with other therapies including Chiropractic Adjustments, Myofascial Release Techniques and other Soft Tissue Therapies, and Rehabilitative Exercises we can provide a cohesive approach to help you resolve the pain and discomfort you’ve been experiencing.
What do we use Flexion Distraction Therapy for?
We use Flexion Distraction Therapy to treat a range of conditions including, but not limited to:
- Lower Back Pain and Stiffness
- Lumbar Disc Herniations
- Degenerative Joint Disease
- Facet Syndrome
- Spinal stenosis
- Lumbar Radiculopathy