In the world of chiropractic there are many different techniques that are used to analyze and adjust a patient’s spine and to care for patients. If you have been to our office before then you have seen the big, fun tables we use when we adjust. These tables as well as the way we analyze and adjust are based on a technique called the Thompson Technique. This article is meant to give you a little more insight into what the Thompson Technique is, where is comes from, and why we like it so much.
Both the technique and the table were originally developed by a guy named Dr. J. Clay Thompson. He graduated from Palmer Chiropractic school (the original chiropractic school) as a second career and in the 1950s he developed a table that revolutionized chiropractic care in many ways. The original table incorporated a drop in the headpiece and was discovered almost by accident – Dr. Thompson’s original table was old and flimsy and had a loose screw that created a “give” in the table as he was adjusting. After he got a new table, the patients complained of less comfort and worse results and requested that he go back to using his old table. The first table that was developed with full spine drop pieces was released in 1957.
A critical part to this technique is the leg check. You might have noticed when you’re getting adjusted that we always check your legs multiple times throughout the session. We use this leg check as a tool to help us analyze when and where you need to be adjusted. When there is a subluxation present (something that needs to be adjusted), one leg becomes contracted and is shorter than the other one. This is also called a functionally short leg. The reason this occurs mostly has to do with the body’s proprioceptive structures (the receptors that communicate with the brain about the movement and forces affecting the body). When a joint is not moving correctly it affects these structures in such a way that one leg is “pulled” shorter. If you’re interested in learning more about the neurological implications of this, ask your chiropractor.
We at Foundation love this technique because it is comfortable for both patient and chiropractor, and most importantly it gives great results.