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Flexion-Distraction (F&D) is a manual chiropractic therapy used to manage low back pain caused by many anatomical structures.  It is an extremely versatile tool for the chiropractor and is backed by a substantial amount of clinical evidence and research.  F&D is indicated for low back and leg pain. It has been found to reduce pain caused by:

  • Disc herniation- By increasing intervertebral foramen (IVF) space and taking pressure off the affected nerve roots.  The passive movement that is an intrinsic part of F&D also helps to increase localized blood flow to improve healing time as well as facilitating the removal of painful irritation associated with a herniated disc.
  • Slipped disc- By promoting a normal movement pattern in the lumbar spine which in turn allows the disc to potentially return to a normal resting position.
  • Ruptured disc- By the same means noted under disc herniation.
  • Facet syndrome- F&D promotes forward flexion of the lumbar spine which removes excess stress on the posterior facet joints, typically caused by an increased lumbar curve.
  • Stenosis- By utilizing forward flexion among other passive movements in the spine, the central spinal cord canal can be opened up to relieve pressure on the spinal cord.
  • Spondylolisthesis- F&D, again promotes healthy movement patterns in the lumbar spine.  There is large muscular component to the pain associated with spondylolisthesis.  The passive movement and stretching helps relieve this type of pain better than most techniques.
  • Repetitive strain low back pain/ Chronic low back pain (CLBP)- Whether you sit at a desk or perform a lot of lifting at work, many people pay little attention to their posture.  Poor posture can lead to faulty muscle patterns that create excessive stress on the low back muscles and fascia.  The end result is a chronic, deep, dull ache in the low back area.  F&D is an excellent technique to treat this very common type of pain.

What to expect:

  • The doctor will perform a history of present complaint and perform an orthopedic exam.
  • If F&D is indicated, the patient will be  asked to lie face down on the special F&D table.
  • The patient’s ankles will be strapped into the table.
  • The table will distract the patient’s low back, imparting a stretch in the low back tissues.
  • The doctor will place one hand on the patient’s low back and use a “tiller bar” to move the patient’s legs and low back in a specific way.
  • A typical treatment session lasts between 5 and 10 minutes.
  • Generally speaking, results can be felt right away.  The total number of treatments needed will be specific to each complaint and and/or patient.
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