Adjustment for the Disc

Matthews Chiropractic Center patients with sciatica, leg weakness or numbness, or any type of lumbar disc injury can benefit from flexion-distraction therapy.  Cox flexion-distraction adjusting is a form of chiropractic manipulation which treats the intervertebral disc, posterior facet joints, and the passages around the spine where nerves travel.  Flexion-distraction adjusting is accomplished with the patient lying face down on a special hinged chiropractic table; the spine is stabilized while the section of the table under the patient’s legs is moved towards the floor.

Flexion-Distraction Benefits[1]:

  • Increases height of the posterior disc space.
  • Decreases disc protrusion and reduces stenosis.
  • Flexion opens the space for spinal cord.
  • Increases nutrients moving into the disc.
  • Opens the posterior joints and reduces posterior disc stress.
  • Reduces pressure in the disc during distraction (decompression).
  • Expands the space where the nerve root passes.

Help for Disc Injuries

Disc injuries go by many names: bulge, protrusion, herniation, prolaspe, rupture, slipped, torn/tear, etc. and represent varying degrees of a similar injury.  Damage to the disc and pressure on nerves can cause lower back pain, sciatica, weakness, numbness, and/or tingling in the legs.  All of these symptoms can come from injury of the disc and can benefit from flexion-distraction treatments.

Surgery Alternative

Often I see patients who have had low back surgery or who are contemplating surgery to treat disc injury complaints.  Cox flexion-distraction therapy is an effective non-surgical alternative that has allowed patients to avoid low back surgery.  Chiropractic adjustments are made to help the spine regain and maintain motion.  Similarly, flexion-distraction therapy brings movement to joints and discs of the lumbar spine.  If you seek a chiropractor who utilizes this specialized adjusting technique please call Matthews Chiropractic Center for more information.

  1. Cox, James M.  Low Back Pain: Mechanism, Diagnosis and Treatment, 6th ed.  Baltimore: Williams & Wilkins, 1999. []

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