Flexion–Distraction Therapy

Flexion-distraction is a chiropractic technique used to treat pain and conditions of the low back. It is effective for improving range of motion and muscle stiffness, and resolving disc bulges and herniation. The treatment is safe, gentle, low force and takes pressure off spinal nerves that may be injured or dysfunctional.

Conditions That May Benefit from Flexion–Distraction Therapy

  • Lumbar disc injuries (ruptured, bulging or herniated discs)
  • Low back pain
  • Leg pain/Sciatica
  • Arthritis
  • Generalized low back stiffness
  • Sprain/strain
  • Scoliosis
  • Sacroiliac syndrome/pain
  • Spinal canal stenosis (narrowing of the spinal canal)

How is Flexion-Distraction Performed?

Flexion-distraction involves using a special table that flexes and distracts the spine in a gentle, rhythmic motion. The goal is to facilitate movement that will remove pressure from the disc bulge, creating a negative pressure that pulls the disc bulge back into the spine and promotes healing. Flexion-distraction therapy also encourages proper spinal motion and helps to mobilize tight muscles and other tissues. The motion allows nutrients into the spinal disc and improves mobility and function of the low back.

Is the Treatment Painful?

No. The treatment involves slow, gentle movements and most patients report that it is pleasant and relaxing. For this reason, it is safe and comfortable during episodes of acute low back pain or before and after surgery.

I Have Arthritis. Is Flexion-Distraction Safe?

Yes. Movements are very gentle, without any quick thrusts or excessive pressure. Flexion- distraction has been successfully used to help manage many conditions of the aging spine including degenerative disc disease, spinal stiffness, osteoarthritis and spinal stenosis.


  • Reduce pressure on the spinal nerves from a disc bulge or herniation
  • Increase spinal motion within the disc and spinal joints
  • Decrease muscle tension, stiffness and spasms
  • Reducing symptoms of sciatica
Give our office a call to find out if Flexion-distraction therapy is right for you, or book an appointment online with one of our chiropractors today!