If you are experiencing pain in your spine, muscles, and joints, alternative therapies can be extremely helpful. Not only are they non-invasive and drug-free, but they also help patients avoid many of the side effects that are often associated with taking pain medications. Flexion-distraction therapy is a natural, non-surgical technique that is an effective alternative to conventional medicine. It is also sometimes called spinal decompression since its main goal is to relieve pressure on the spine.

What Is Flexion-Distraction Therapy?

Flexion-distraction is a very safe, gentle, and controlled form of traction that is specifically designed for relieving pain of the spine. It is performed on a special table that looks similar to a standard chiropractic table, with one difference – it can flex and side-flex. This allows patients to receive traction without weight-bearing.

Flexion-distraction therapy can be used to treat a variety of musculoskeletal problems, including:

  • Herniated discs
  • Unexplained back pain
  • Poor posture
  • Sciatica
  • Spondylolisthesis
  • Spinal stenosis
  • Injuries including strains and sprains
  • Leg, arm, and neck pain
  • Pelvic pain
  • Whiplash injuries
  • Degenerative disc disease

Flexion-distraction therapy has been clinically proven to:

  • Reduce pressure inside the spinal discs
  • Widen the spinal canal
  • Reduce pressure on the spinal nerves
  • Restore motion to spinal joints

What Happens During Flexion-Distraction Therapy?

During flexion-distraction therapy, the patient will be asked to lie on their stomach. There is no need for the patient to make any active movements. Instead, your practitioner will use the table to gently flex and stretch the spinal segments and muscles around the area of your spine where you are experiencing pain. As your practitioner works, different sections of the treatment table move, altering your position. Performing treatment in this way rather than moving helps to prevent spasming and other unpleasant body reactions. And when your body drops into each new position, gravity helps to enhance the effects of the treatment.

In most instances, flexion-distraction therapy isn’t painful, and many patients report feelings of comfort and relaxation during treatment. In fact, it is often recommended for those patients who are experiencing such significant day-to-day discomfort that they are unable to tolerate more intense chiropractic techniques, such as spinal adjustments or trigger point therapy.

What Are The Benefits Of Flexion-Distraction Therapy?

There are a wide range of different benefits associated with flexion distraction. These include, but aren’t limited to:

  • Relief from stiffness
  • Improved range of motion and general mobility
  • Reduce pressure on the spinal nerves and intervertebral discs
  • Reduce bulging of herniated discs
  • Drug-free pain relief
  • Improved posture
  • Decrease neck pain
  • Easing and eliminating persistent headaches
  • Relief from numbness and other neurological symptoms associated with back problems
  • Improved quality of sleep
  • Better quality of life


If you would like more information about flexion-distraction therapy, or to schedule an appointment, please call Peak Performance + Wellness in Davenport, Iowa at (563) 200-9188 today.

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