Lumbar Flexion Distraction

What You Need to Know

If you suffer from low back pain, you know how debilitating it can be. It can affect every aspect of your life, from work to personal relationships. Fortunately, there are many non-invasive treatment options available to help alleviate low back pain, including lumbar flexion distraction therapy.

Lumbar flexion-distraction therapy is a non-invasive, chiropractic technique used to treat low back pain. It involves using a specialized table that gently stretches and flexes the lower spine, helping to relieve pressure on the spinal discs and nerves. The therapy can help to improve mobility, reduce pain, and promote healing.

Lumbar Flexion Distraction

How Spinal Misalignment Affects the Nervous System

The spine is comprised of vertebrae that are joined by small joints called facet joints. This structure allows the spine to move freely and support your weight. Between each pair of vertebrae are fluid-filled cartilage cushions called discs that work to absorb impact, protect the spine, maintain proper spacing between vertebrae, and prevent painful bone-on-bone friction.

As you can imagine, many things can go wrong in this delicate system. A sports injury, long-term bad posture, or even a job that requires long hours of sitting can force vertebrae out of alignment. This instability can cause the disc between the vertebrae to bulge or herniate, a condition in which some of the softer material inside the disc is pushed through a crack in the harder exterior.

When this bulging disc pushes on one of the nerve roots running through the spine, it can affect an entire network of nerves leading to another area of the body, such as the lower back, legs, or arms. This can result in pain, tingling, numbness, weakness, and other serious side effects.

The flexion distraction technique works to relieve this pressure on the nerves and reduce compression of the discs to restore balance to the spinal structure.

How Flexion Distraction Therapy is Performed

Flexion distraction is a hands-on, non-surgical manipulation of the spine that occurs while a patient lies on a specially designed chiropractic table. Flexion distraction, a technique first developed by Dr. James Cox, is based on the application of very small and precise amounts of flexion distraction to parts of the spine experiencing disc herniation or compression. 

During this form of therapy, the chiropractor will apply very gentle pressure to specific areas while using a table to simultaneously distract (or stretch) and flex the spine in a cyclic motion. As affected vertebrae are gently and carefully pulled back from each other, negative pressure draws the disc back into the correct position to relieve pain and nerve pressure while allowing nutrients to move back into the disc.

Flexion distraction is a procedure that removes pain without causing additional discomfort. Most people find the experience very comfortable and relaxing without any pain.

Conditions Treated with Flexion Distraction

Lumbar flexion distraction can treat several lumbar conditions:

  • Lower back pain
  • Sciatica
  • Arthritis
  • Lumbar disc injuries like herniated, bulging, or ruptured discs
  • Sprains and strains
  • Scoliosis
  • Spinal stenosis, or narrowing of the spinal canal
  • Failed back surgical syndrome
  • Spondylolisthesis, or a condition in which a vertebra slips onto the vertebra below it

Because this technique uses a non-forceful and gentle approach, it’s often recommended for patients recovering from surgery and those in rehabilitation because it does not subject patients to increased pain. It is also appropriate for patients with arthritis as the movements are slow and repetitive without force or unnecessary pressure. Patients with osteoporosis, arthritis, and other degenerative conditions who require a lighter touch can be good candidates for flexion distraction.

Lumbar flexion distraction has been clinically proven to widen the spinal canal, reduce pressure on nerves, restore the range of motion to spinal joints, and reduce pressure inside spinal discs. This technique has been studied extensively in the treatment of a variety of conditions, including lumbar spinal stenosis which found a significant reduction in pain. If your doctor has told you you may need back surgery or surgery has failed, flexion distraction is a safe and conservative approach that can help with the pain of disc injuries, back injuries, and more.

At ChiroFit Studio in Chatsworth, California, we offer lumbar flexion distraction therapy as part of our comprehensive approach to chiropractic care. Our experienced chiropractors will work with you to determine if this treatment is right for your specific needs.

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How Can ChiroFit Studio Help with Lumbar Flexion Distraction?

During a lumbar flexion distraction therapy session, you will lie face down on a specialized table. The table has movable sections that allow the chiropractor to isolate the lower back and apply gentle pressure to the affected area.

As the table moves, it flexes and stretches the lower back, creating space between the spinal discs. This can help to relieve pressure on the nerves and reduce inflammation in the affected area.

The treatment is gentle and non-invasive, making it an ideal choice for patients who are looking for an alternative to surgery or medication. It is also suitable for patients of all ages, from children to seniors.

In addition to lumbar flexion-distraction therapy, our chiropractors at ChiroFit Studio may also recommend other treatments to help manage your low back pain. These may include:

  • Spinal Adjustments: Spinal adjustments involve applying controlled force to the spine to realign vertebrae and improve joint mobility. This can help to alleviate pain, improve range of motion, and promote healing.
  • Massage Therapy: Massage therapy can help to reduce muscle tension and promote relaxation, which can help to alleviate low back pain.
  • Exercise Rehabilitation: Exercise rehabilitation can help to improve strength, flexibility, and mobility, which can reduce low back pain and prevent future injuries.
  • Acupuncture: Acupuncture can help to reduce pain and inflammation by stimulating the body’s natural healing response.


At ChiroFit Studio in Chatsworth, California, we are dedicated to providing our patients with the highest level of care and attention. We believe that every individual deserves to live a pain-free life, and we are committed to helping our patients achieve optimal health and well-being.

If you’re suffering from low back pain and are looking for a non-invasive treatment option, lumbar flexion distraction therapy may be right for you. Contact ChiroFit Studio today to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced chiropractors. We will work with you to determine the underlying cause of your low back pain and develop a personalized treatment plan to help you achieve your goals.

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