Flexion-distraction involves the use of a specialized table that gently "distracts" or stretches the spine. This allows the chiropractor to isolate the affected area while slightly "flexing" the spine using a pumping rhythm.
There is usually no pain associated with this treatment. Instead, the flexion-distraction technique's gentle pumping to the painful area allows the center of the intervertebral disc (called the nucleus pulposus) to assume its central position in the disc. Flexion-distraction may also improve disc height.
This technique can help move the disc away from the nerve, reducing inflammation of the nerve root, and eventually any associated pain and inflammation into the leg (if there is any related to your herniated disc).
With flexion-distraction, you generally need a series of treatments combined with adjunctive physiotherapy, supplementation, and at-home treatments (your chiropractor will let you know what those are).
Gradually, specific exercises to treat your herniated disc will be incorporated into your treatment plan.
Your chiropractor will monitor you throughout the treatment plan.