top of page
what is the thompson technique in chiropractic?

What is Thompson Technique?

The Thompson Technique is a chiropractic adjustment method developed by Dr. J. Clay Thompson in the 1950s. Also known as the Thompson Drop-Table Technique or the Thompson Terminal Point Technique, it is a system that employs a specialized chiropractic table with drop-away sections. The technique aims to enhance the precision and comfort of chiropractic adjustments.

Key features of the Thompson Technique include:

  1. Segmental Drop System: The Thompson Technique uses a chiropractic table equipped with individual drop-away sections. These sections are strategically located along the table, corresponding to specific areas of the spine. Each section is designed to drop slightly when pressure is applied during an adjustment, allowing the chiropractor to deliver a controlled and precise force to the targeted spinal segment.
     

  2. Leg Length Analysis: Before adjustments, chiropractors using the Thompson Technique typically perform leg length analysis. The patient lies face down on the Thompson table, and the chiropractor observes the length of the patient's legs. A difference in leg length may indicate potential "subluxations" or "imbalances" in the spine.
     

  3. Adjustment Process: The chiropractor applies manual force to the spine while the patient lies on the drop-away sections of the table. When the adjustment force is delivered, the corresponding table section drops, creating a quick and controlled release of pressure on the targeted spinal segment.
     

  4. Low Force Technique: The Thompson Technique is considered a low-force chiropractic technique. The use of the drop-away table sections allows the chiropractor to apply force with less manual thrust than traditional manual adjustments. This can be beneficial for patients who prefer a gentler approach to chiropractic care.
     

  5. Patient Positioning: Patients typically lie face down on the Thompson table during adjustments, allowing the chiropractor access to the spine and pelvis. The table's design facilitates the delivery of precise adjustments with minimal force.
     

  6. Post-Adjustment Assessment: After the adjustment, the chiropractor may perform post-adjustment leg length analysis to assess any changes in leg length and ensure that the adjustment had the intended effect.

Benefits of the Thompson Technique:

  1. Precision: The drop-away sections of the table allow chiropractors to deliver precise adjustments to specific spinal segments, promoting accuracy in targeting joint restrictions.
     

  2. Comfort: The controlled drop of the table sections often results in a less forceful and more comfortable adjustment experience for patients, making it suitable for those who may be apprehensive about manual thrusts.
     

  3. Low Force: The technique is considered a low-force approach, making it suitable for individuals who prefer or require a gentler chiropractic adjustment.
     

  4. Consistency: The use of a specialized table helps ensure consistency in the application of adjustments across different patients and sessions.

As with any chiropractic technique, individual experiences with the Thompson Technique may vary. It's important for individuals seeking chiropractic care to communicate openly with their chiropractor about their preferences, concerns, and expectations to ensure that the chosen technique aligns with their needs.

bottom of page