Cox flexion distraction technique for chronic pain
Cox flexion distraction technique for chronic pain is used by chiropractors trained in the Cox® Technic method.
About one-third of Americans report that they suffer from some form of chronic pain. It is also the number one cause of long-term disability in the United States. According to a 2019 Dept. of Health & Human Services report, pain affects more Americans than diabetes, heart disease, and cancer combined.
Many Americans suffer from chronic lower back pain, neck pain, and migraines caused by a long list of conditions that can be treated with non-invasive chiropractic care. When treating chronic pain stemming from disc herniations and bulges, spinal stenosis, and nerve pains like sciatica, one chiropractic technique is considered the Gold Standard and is the most researched chiropractic procedure. It’s called Cox flexion distraction Technique.
What is the Cox flexion distraction technique?
The Cox flexion distraction technique was pioneered by Dr. James M. Cox, from whom it gets its name. It does not, as some people assume, derive its name from ‘Coxyx’ – the tailbone. Dr. Cox, a chiropractor whose father was an osteopath, combined his knowledge of both fields to develop the Cox flexion distraction technique. This is part of a set of protocols, or systems, called Cox® Technic. Experts have researched and perfected this technique over the last few decades. It is currently one of the most researched chiropractic techniques in the world. Cox designed it to greatly reduce spine-related pain. It is a non-invasive, manual spinal manipulation, performed on a specially designed table by trained and certified doctors.
Cox flexion distraction is a hands-on technique. As a certified Cox® Technic practitioner, Dr. Kulla at Synergy Wellness in lower Manhattan applies precise amounts of specialized manual manipulation to pertinent points within the spine in tandem with a smooth, rhythmic motion. This gentle spinal decompression decreases pressure on herniated and bulging discs and the nerves that run up and down within the spinal column as well as those exiting the spine as they run to different parts of the body. So a seemingly unrelated pain in another part of your body could actually stem from a pinched spinal nerve.
Flexion distraction equipment
Synergy Wellness in New York City uses two flexion distraction tables including a brand new Cox8 table. These tables provide the ‘flexion’ in the procedure. A Cox table has several articulated segments. These segments are raised or lowered to bring different portions of the spine into play. Then, during flexion distraction, the doctor will push the relevant section of the table down while manually manipulating the targeted vertebrae.
As you can see in this video, the patient lies face down on the flexion table. By adjusting different parts of this table we can apply gentle pressure at the targeted area while using a rhythmic motion to gently relieve pressure on affected areas of the spine. We also combine the use of a PTLMS machine to relax muscles, reduce spasms, and free up the movement a little more.
How does Cox flexion distraction help reduce or eliminate chronic pain?
This well-documented and researched technique helps relieve pain by reducing the pressure in the spine and on the spinal nerves and returning motion to the spinal joints. Like spinal decompression, it helps to separate and re-align troubled discs. It also encourages the flow of blood and healing nutrients around the damaged or troublesome portion of the spine.
When performing this technique one of the things we’re doing is foraminal gapping. The foramina are the spaces where the nerve exits from the spine. By opening up the back area of the spine where these nerves exit it reduces the pressure between the vertebrae. This reduction of pressure “sucks” in a protrusion pressing on a nerve, like the sciatic, so this is extremely beneficial for those who suffer from sciatica pain. When combined with cold laser therapy the results are greatly improved. This technique can also be incredibly helpful for anyone with spinal stenosis or post-surgical pain. We typically see a 40-50% reduction in pain within 4-5 weeks with even better results at 10-12 weeks.
What conditions can be treated with the Cox flexion distraction technique?
The sensation of pain is a red flag or warning signal that something is not right. Acute pain, like when you touch something hot and pull away, is short term and generally subsides when the cause is removed. Chronic pain is recurring or constant and indicates that something is still amiss. Pain has a source or cause. Sometimes these causes can be fixed or cured and sometimes they can only be managed.
Many people suffering from chronic pain wish to avoid long-term prescription drug use or invasive surgery. Drugs, especially opioids, tend to just mask the problem. There may be a time and place for surgery in some cases as a last resort. Chiropractic options look for the root causes and offer successful, non-invasive treatments for a large portion of people seeking relief from their constant or recurring pain. In many cases, the Cox flexion distraction technique for chronic pain can reduce or eliminate the need for medications or even surgery.
Patients with spinal pain-related conditions respond favorably to Cox Flexion Distraction with Cox® Technic for chronic pain:
- Pinched nerve conditions such as sciatica (Watch this VIdeo To Get RId of Sciatica Now)
- Low back pain
- Spinal Stenosis
- Disc herniation
- Disc bulging
- Neck and arm pain (Listen to “The Back Doctors Podcast” featuring Dr. David Kulla)
- Leg pain
- Degenerative disc disease
- Facet syndrome
- Pelvic pain
- Headaches and migraines
- Compression defects
- Loss of spine lordosis
- Loss of range of spinal motion
- Whip-lash type injuries
- Pre and Post-surgical pain
- FBSS (Failed Back Surgery Syndrome)
- Scoliosis (to maintain mobility of the curve)
- Transitional segment (Bertolotti’s Syndrome)
- Pregnancy back pain
- Postural faults (Watch Videos on Forward Head Posture or Lower Cross Syndrome)
- Mechanical back pain (such as what accompanies ankylosing spondylitis, collagen vascularizing diseases, etc.)
- Osteoarthritis of the spine
- Patients not able to tolerate vigorous adjustment
- Synovial cyst
- Neurological diseases (multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, stroke)
- DISH (Diffuse Idiopathic Skeletal Hyperostosis)
- Klippel Feil Syndrome
- Knee pain
- And more
Case studies for cox flexion distraction
Since every case is unique it is expected that individual outcomes will vary however the decades of studies and research on Cox Flexion Distraction show that the benefits received by most patients are fairly typical.
Migraines and neck pain
Case Study of a career-oriented, ambitious young woman who considered going on disability because her neck pain and migraines were not improving with prescribed medications. Listen to this podcast featuring Dr. David Kulla of Synergy Wellness NYC discuss this severe case. CLICK HERE TO LISTEN
Lower back pain
A 46-year-old man with a complaint of severe lower-back pain as well as disabling pain and tingling in his right leg. His pain was so severe that he needed assistance from his wife to enter the doctor’s office. He had multilevel lumbar disc herniations and severe radiculopathy. After eleven total visits, using manipulative treatments including Cox® decompressive spinal manipulative therapy utilizing Protocol 1, he is doing very well. He returned to his normal daily activities and continues to be physically active.
One 50-year-old woman was seen for treatment of left-sided radiculopathy and paresthesia down her entire leg to her foot. Her pain was on and off over 3 years but had become constant over the previous 10 days. The pain was aggravated by standing for long periods and regular activity. She described her pain as a 10 on a 1-10 scale. She had a severe antalgic (away from the pain) posture and could barely walk, sit, or stand for more than 10 minutes at a time. After her fifth Cox® adjustment she described her pain as a 0 out of 10 on the pain scale. She is currently living a drug-free and pain-free lifestyle.
Post surgical pain
Another woman, 47 years of age, was seen for lower back and right leg pain that started 20 years earlier in her hip joint during pregnancy. She had back surgery for disc herniation at the L5-S1 level in 2005 and the return of the leg pain was noted within 2 months after the surgery. Flexion-distraction manipulation was added to her overall treatment plan. It was applied for a period of 3 months with a total of 31 visits. The patient’s ability to walk continued to increase until she had 100% relief of both back and leg pain at the completion of her full treatment plan.
Relief from chronic pain without prescription drugs or surgery is possible with a customized treatment plan that takes into account your unique situation. Dr. David Kulla of Synergy Wellness Chiropractic and Physical Therapy in Manhattan is a certified Cox® Technic Chiropractor.
Contact Synergy Wellness located at 409 East 14th street in New York City today to schedule an evaluation and take your first steps to become pain-free.