Lower back pain (LBP) is a common, difficult to treat ailment. According to the American Chiropractic Association, it afflicts more than 30 million people in the United States. Although, pain resulting from intervertebral disc herniation is reported among the most common, lower back pain may result from many other conditions; treatments range from radical, invasive surgery to strictly allopathic medicine.
Patients who suffer from spine disc herniation want relief. Flexion distraction reconfigures space between the two affected vertebrae thereby relieving pain.
A patient lies prone on a mechanically assisted adjustment table with their feet strapped down. Research indicates, however, a person must first remain on a table without their feet strapped; it is a way to test a patient’s tolerance for the procedure. With one palm on an involved disc, three, 20second sets of five downward distractions are then performed. As the table provides the downward force, the technique uses equal force with the palm on the patient’s back.
Is it useful?
If a particular treatment is useful, you can bet someone is talking about it. There are, in fact, both positive and negative reports regarding the efficacy of flexion distraction. It seems timing is of particular importance in this respect, however. Some evidence suggests flexion distraction technique is superior to other techniques, such as side posture manipulation, during the acute phase of treatment. Side posture manipulation could be performed in subsequent phases, which helped relieve the sciatica often found in these cases.
Despite the fact chiropractic studies seem to have shown flexion distraction is a useful treatment for patients suffering LBP, more research is needed. As of yet, researchers conclude although there is some pejorative stance with regard to flexion distraction, there is little “negative or challenging literature to date.” Perhaps over time, as use of the technique matures, more studies can provide a better insight as to the usefulness of flexion distraction for treating intervertebral herniations.