Flexion distraction therapy was developed by Dr James Cox (Chiropractor) in the USA. It is non-surgical, practitioner-controlled, hands-on spinal manipulation performed with the patient lying on a flexion distraction table. This table has a fulcrum at the lumbar spine that permits the effective administration of flexion distraction and decompression of the lumbar spine.
Cox flexion distraction technique is a slow, rhythmic, oscillatory and gentle “push, pull, pumping” effect on the intervertebral disc space allowing these benefits:
1) Increases the intervertebral disc height to remove tension on the annular fibres and spinal nerve by making more room and improving circulation.
2) Drop pressure within the nucleus pulposus of the intervertebral disc by up to 192mmHg.
3) Increases the area of the intervertebral foramen by up to 28% to relieve pressure on spinal nerves.
4) Restores intervertebral joints to their normal motion and function.
5) Afferentation or stimulation of joint mechanoreceptors to have a reflex inhibition of pain signals and muscles spasm.
5) Promotion of drainage of waste products and chemical pain mediators out of the disc and spinal canal, and improved diffusion of circulation and nutrients into the disc.
Reference: The Basic Science Study Regarding the Application of Flexion Distraction in the Lumbar Spine, 1994-1997, Health Resources & Services Administration, Researchers at National University of Health Sciences and Loyola University were led by Ram Gudavali PhD and A.G.Patwardhan PhD.
The goal of flexion distraction is to stimulate the healing of spinal disc injuries, reduce pain, restore function and ultimately to avoid spinal surgery.
Flexion distraction is appropriate for conditions causing low back and leg pain as well as neck and arm pain. It also reduces pain associated with the following conditions:
disc herniation/ protrusion / prolapse/ sciatica
Post-surgical back pain
The goal of Cox flexion distraction technique is to achieve 50% relief of pain (measured subjectively and objectively) in 30 days. If 50% relief is not attained an alternative treatment plan, referral for diagnostic imaging and/ or referral to a neurosurgeon will be considered.
At Body to Balance we are proud to say that we’re one of the few chiropractic clinics in Melbourne offering a certified Cox Flexion Distraction Technic practitioner, as we know by having this technique we are offering the highest standard of care to our patients with low-back and leg pain.
Demonstration of Cox Flexion Distraction Technique: