What Is Flexion Distraction Therapy?

What Is Flexion Distraction Therapy?

What is a Flexion Distraction Table?


I’d like to show you a therapy that we have in the office called the flexion-distraction table. The flexion-distraction table is particularly good for difficult low back cases. This table is used by the patient lying face down on the table with the hip bones right at the top of the pad. And we start at a very slow speed. Over time, we’re able to work up to a faster and faster speed to get more and more movement into the low back.

FDT model




How Does The Flexion-Distraction Table Work?


What this table does specifically is it helps get movement into the area of the disc. The disc is between each of the vertebrae in your spine. The function of the disc is to protect the nerve and keep nice space in between each of the vertebras. There are two main problems that can happen with the discs. The first one is that the disc can dry out and become too thin over time. This happens because the disc is not getting proper movement. And just like, you can imagine a sponge. A sponge, if you’re using it in the water, it stays nice and plump, but if you take that sponge and lay it on the edge of the sink, it will dry out and become very thin over more time. Well, the way to rehabilitate the disc is, just like a sponge, you’re going to put it in the water and you’re going to squeeze it. Well, the disc, the way we squeeze the disc, is that we get the particular type of movement that the flexion-distraction table offers. Which is a compression and a pull, a compress and a pull. And what that does is it causes fluids to move into the disc and waste products to come out of the disc. And what that can do is plump up the disc over time.


Why use Flexion Distraction?


We had a particular case where a lady was recommended for surgery because her disc had become too thin. It was causing pressure on the nerve. She was able to do several sessions of the flexion table, and we were able to see, on film, that that area had increased. She was no longer having the symptoms and she was able to avoid surgery.

The other main problem that can happen with discs is that they can bulge. So here, this model has a bulging disc right here. And bulging discs are like jelly donuts. If you think about a jelly donut, and you put a lot of pressure on one side of it, your jelly’s going to squirt out the other side. And your discs are like that. They sit between the bony vertebra, and if they have unequal pressure on one side or the other, they’re going to start to bulge out where that pressure is making it go. And so what the flexion table can do is after the adjustment which aligns the vertebra, the flexion table puts that particular movement in there which asks the body to suck that disc back up and then puts pressure into hydrate it properly. Waste products out, hydration in. And that can often resolve hot disc cases. So the flexion table is extremely good for complicated low back cases and we have used it with great success in many patient cases.

To watch the full video, click here.


Our promise to you

HealthWorks is dedicated to a comprehensive and specific approach to taking care of spinal and nervous system needs. Let us help you find out how taking care of the most important system in the body will create optimal health that will last a lifetime!  

If we find we’re not the best to help, we promise to refer you to someone who is. We leave no stone unturned!