Back Pain Treatment

Improved Treatment for Back Pain

Treating Back Pain with Cox Flexion-Distraction Treatment


Back pain is a common problem that often interferes with your ability to work, sleep, and enjoy your favorite activities like walking, gardening, golfing, and exercise.

And to make matters worse back pain tends to be recurrent in nature, meaning that even after it goes away it tends to come back again later on, and when it does subsequent episodes tend to be longer lasting and more severe.

But there is some good news…. a treatment technique known as Cox Flexion-Distraction has emerged as one of the most effective, safest, and well researched treatments for low back pain.

In fact, Cox Technique can often provide dramatic relief when there are few other effective treatment options available.

If you are not familiar with Cox Treatment don’t worry.  In this article we will discuss what you need to know about low back pain, including a review of Cox Flexion Distraction therapy. Here are the key things we will cover….

  1. The underlying cause of virtually every case of  lower back pain
  2. Why traditional treatments are often ineffective or slow to fix the problem
  3. What Cox Treatment is … and how it is so effective in treating back pain

The Most Common Cause of Back Pain

While some back pain problems may be associated with sciatica, or can caused by conditions such as arthritis, spinal stenosis, or disc problems, by far, the most common type of back pain is classified as “mechanical back pain”.

Unlike traumatic back pain, which is associated with a specific event such as an accident or injury, mechanical back pain develops slowly over time, and results from tight, restricted, or uncontrolled movement in the joints of the spine.

Here’s how this work….

The back, or lumbar spine, consists of a series of block-shaped bones stacked together to form a movable column. As the back flexes, bends, or twists each of these bones (anatomically referred to as vertebrae) will move such that each each vertebrae will contribute to the overall movement of the lower back.

This pattern of ‘shared mobility’ allows the the joint stress and muscular demand associated with these movements to be evenly distributed across a larger area, thereby helping to prevent overload at specific areas of the spine.

But for this to occur it requires each individual vertebrae to be able to adequately flex, bend, and twist. If any of the lumbar joints become tight it will force the other joints in the spine to move excessively in an effort to compensate for the restricted segment.

This altered movement movement of the spine will create excessive stress and strain and can lead to small scale damage in the joints of the spine as well as in the discs, muscles, and ligaments.   As this process continues over time the small scale damage can accumulate into larger scale injury, inflammation, and low back pain.

And in addition to the back itself, it is also common for symptoms such as pain and muscle tension to be referred to the hips and legs (see figure below).

The Problem with Traditional Treatments for Back Pain

In an attempt to treat back pain, a variety of treatment methods are commonly used, including medications, massage, stretching or strengthening exercises, or chiropractic/joint manipulation techniques. While in many cases these approaches can be helpful in managing back pain and stiffness, many of these therapies are often limited in their effectiveness and/or provide only temporary relief. Medications generally address the back pain symptoms but do not address the actual health, stiffness, or abnormal motion of the spinal joints. Stretching exercises can be helpful and are often needed, but stretches and exercises are often done incorrectly.  In fact, while most people think stretches for their back will help with their back pain this is rarely the case.  In most cases stretches need to be  directed at the hips, not the back. Core strength exercises will help protect and stabilize loose joints, but will have no effect on joint restrictions. Traditional chiropractic adjustments/joint manipulation procedures to loosen tight and restricted joints can also be helpful in some cases, but can often be uncomfortable, or some patients may be nervous to receive such treatment. Furthermore, research has shown that it is difficult to affect specific joints with this type of treatment, which leads to the same problems associated with stretching (1,2).


Improved Treatment for Back Pain with Cox Flexion-Distraction

Cox Flexion-Distraction Treatment is a safe, effective, research-proven, gentle treatment technique used to correct tight, painful, and dysfunctional joints in the spine. This technique is performed using a specially engineered treatment table that gently pulls and stretches the spine. Here is how Cox Flexion-Distraction works…. With the patient lying face down on the table, the lower section of the table (the part of the table supporting the patient’s legs) can be slowly pulled down and away. This motion lengthens the spine, which gently pulls the spinal bones away from each other and acts to “decompress” and stretch the painful and restricted joints. As the spine stretches the doctor is able to focus the stretch and joint release at very specific levels of the lower back by stabilizing the vertebra above the restricted vertebrae using a specific hand contact. This focal pressure applied by the doctor makes Cox Technique more effective than traditional traction therapies or inversion devices which apply only a general traction. Each decompression stretch is applied in a rhythmical push-pull action five or six times for a total of about 20 seconds. This process is usually repeated three to four times per treatment session. The decompression of the damaged disc or spinal joints achieved with Cox Flexion-Distraction has a number of important effects which help to reduce pain and promote healing. For example, this procedure has been shown to dramatically reduce pressure within the intervertebral disc which reduces strain and stimulates healing of the damaged discs. It also helps to reduce pressure pressure and irritation of the posterior joints of the spine, and stretch the ligaments and muscles around the spinal bones (and remember, with this approach this stretch can be specifically applied to the restricted, tight, and painful areas).

Get Relief with Cox Technique

To book an appointment to see if Cox Flexion-Distraction will be able to help with your back pain simply call our office at (905) 685-7227, or book an initial appointment using our online scheduling system.


1) Ross JK, Bereznick DE, McGill SM. Determining cavitation location during lumbar and thoracic spinal manipulation: is spinal manipulation accurate and specific? Spine 2004; 29:1452-1457.

2) Perle SM, Kawchuck GN, Parrault T, Adams W. Radiographically determined anatomical location of point of peak pressure during pisiform and hypothenar contact manipulation procedures. Proceedings of the International Conference on Spinal Manipulation Oct 5-6. Toronto: Foundation for chiropractic Education and Research; 2002. p20.