Exploring the Drop Table Technique in Chiropractic Care

Exploring the Drop Table Technique in Chiropractic Care

Introduction to the Drop Table Technique

The Drop Table Technique is a specialized kind of chiropractic care. It uses a treatment table that has sections that can be raised and lowered. This helps in the adjustment of certain areas of the spine and other joints. To improve alignment and reduce pain, this technique is used.

Let’s learn more about it. What is it? How does it work? What are the possible benefits and risks?

Overview of the technique

Drop table techniques are highly effective in chiropractic care. This technique uses a machine-generated force together with a practitioner’s manual thrust. It helps spinal alignment, and is often used to reduce pain and improve mobility.

The patient sits or lies on a chiropractic table with adjustable sections. This allows for easy movement of the vertebrae. A lever is placed and drops six inches when engaged. This creates a more gentle, yet more effective adjustment than manual thrusting.

Each chiropractor has their own style for this technique. But, all variations use both manual and mechanical force. This results in improved joint alignment, lessened stress response, and better performance in activities like physical therapy or rehab exercises. These are essential for injury recovery and wellness.

Benefits of the Drop Table Technique

The Drop Table Technique is a helpful way to help with joint alignment and range of motion. It uses the power of gravity with a drop table to get into deeper tissues. This method is often used to relieve pain and improve mobility in joints that are usually tight. It is also safer than a normal chiropractic adjustment.

This technique works especially well with back, shoulder, and neck problems. There are two main techniques: “high-velocity low amplitude” (HVLA) thrust and “relaxation techniques”. Other therapies, like electric stimulation or ultrasound guidance, can also be used depending on the patient’s needs.

During HVLA treatments, the patient lays on an adjustable table with straps and foam wedges. Manual adjustments are done with short drops lasting about 0.25 seconds. This helps to get the maximum effectiveness, or proper alignment, in combination with stretching and soft tissue therapy. The force of gravity from the elevated table height helps to get into deeper soft tissues more quickly than manual manipulation alone. This leads to quicker recovery for people who have issues with soft tissues or joints, caused by physical activity or aging processes.

History of the Drop Table Technique

The drop table technique has been used by chiropractors since the late 19th century. It’s a big part of the profession, and is safe and can help many conditions. This article looks at the history of the drop table technique and its current uses in chiropractic care.

Origin of the technique

Dr. David John Sandoz created the Drop Table Technique in 1950s California. It uses a drop table with sections that move up or down.

The technique is similar to other chiropractic care, but it also provides traction and therapeutic movement. Pressure triggers the sections to move and realign the vertebrae. This helps the body heal from conditions like neck and back pain, sciatica, headaches, disc injuries, and more. This popular technique is still used today for musculoskeletal issues due to misalignments, accidents, and sports injuries.

Development of the technique

Major DeJarnette and Clarence Weiant are the basis for today’s drop table technique. DeJarnette started the National Chiropractic Mutual Insurance Company in 1929. It was the first to issue liability insurance for chiropractors in America.

The two chiropractors studied postgraduate anatomy and biomechanics at Palmer College of Chiropractic in Cleveland, Ohio. This research led to understanding that muscular adhesion decreases when force is applied at a certain angle and then a sudden return occurs due to an increase in pressure from contracted muscles.

They spent years developing their technique, which included angulation against thrusting. In 1936, they published their first text titled Technique of Vibratory Adjustment—the Ultimate Science-Applied Methodology with Advanced Results. This technique has been successful in treating conditions such as osteoarthritis and scoliosis. Many chiropractors have adopted this technique due to its scientific success, leading to its popularity today.

How the Drop Table Technique Works

The Drop Table Technique is a chiropractic technique. It has a special table that drops down when the chiropractor applies thrusts or manipulations. This makes the thrust more focused and deeper. It can help to release joint restrictions and improve joint mobility. It is used to treat different conditions like neck pain, low back pain, and headaches.

Let’s explore it further:

Description of the technique

The drop table technique is a chiropractic adjustment. It takes advantage of mechanical principles like pre-loading and post-unloading. It is an alternative to manual manipulation for spine and extremity conditions.

A practitioner creates momentum by manipulating tissue around a joint. They use passive and lever motions with gravity. This technique applies more force than manual adjustments. It also protects sensitive areas.

Combined motion makes precise manipulation possible. This optimizes outcomes. It reduces pain, inflammation and improves biomechanics between joints. It can be an alternative to surgery.

Lumbar rollers and manually operated tables allow exact positioning. This targets specific regions with minimal disruption. It yields fast relief and can reduce long-term pain. The drop table technique is safer than manual adjustments. It delivers effective results without anatomical compromise.

The process of the technique

Chiropractors use the drop table technique to relieve pain and restore movement. It uses the location of the spine joint. A sudden force disengages misaligned vertebrae. This allows the adjustment to restore and strengthen the neck’s position.

Patients lie face down on the drop table. It has movable segments with cushions and levers. The chiropractor presses on the back to locate issues. Visualization and manipulation follow. Sections of the patient-side table are raised or dropped to fix tension.

When released, a loud thud is heard. This is from the recoil lever. It drops down halfway an inch. This provides relief or strength when correctly applied by medical professionals.

Research on the Drop Table Technique

Drop table technique is a chiropractic manipulation. It’s used to free up joint restrictions in the spine. Studies have indicated that this technique can treat musculoskeletal pain. It can also increase range of motion and improve spinal function.

Let’s investigate recent research about drop table technique and its effectiveness for chiropractic care.

Studies on the technique

The Drop Table Technique (DT) is a chiropractic method. In this, the patient lies on an adjustable bench – usually known as the drop table. The table is dropped in a controlled way at certain angles or positions. Chiropractors use this technique to correct structural misalignments in the spine. They believe that this can cure illnesses and symptoms.

Research has been done to study the efficacy of the DT technique. Studies are being done to observe the long-term effects and dangers associated with it. Most studies are focused on acute pain relief. They are also looking at possible treatments for chronic pain and quality of life improvement due to DT.

Lillard et al. conducted a study on 20 subjects. They had an initial assessment and more than 20 drop tabling sessions over 3 months. At each session, the condition of the patients was assessed with self-report questionnaires. These assessed pain relief, range of motion and overall satisfaction with the treatment. After 3 months, 80% of them reported near complete pain relief. 25% reported mild soreness. Other studies have shown similar results for chronic conditions.

These studies suggest that the drop table technique is beneficial for acute cases of back pain relief. It is more beneficial in treating chronic conditions or multiple issues simultaneously. Long-term studies are yet to be done to understand the risks involved in using this chiropractic care tool. But, overall, it looks promising for those seeking non-surgical solutions to their ailments or discomfort.

Benefits of the technique

The Drop Table Technique, a form of chiropractic care, offers many rewards. It readjusts the spine and increases the range of motion. The muscles around it have better function and pain is reduced.

A special table is used for this technique. It adjusts to the patient’s height and body weight. It also gives traction and mobilizes the joints.

  • Muscle spasms, inflammation, and joint stiffness decrease.
  • Chiropractors can adjust vertebrae more accurately.
  • Pain relief is often experienced in days.
  • Sessions can provide lasting relief.
  • The goal is to improve spinal health and restore natural posture.


Studies and evidence point to the validity of the Drop Table Technique. It’s an advantageous approach to chiropractic care with lots of potential benefits. Relief from pain, plus improved joint mobility are two of them. Plus, it’s secure and simple to use. Adaptable too, to suit many patients’ needs.

Summary of the technique

Chiropractic Physician Donald J. Epstein created the drop table technique for manual therapy and physical therapy. Erik Dalton, PhD and founder of the Freedom from Pain Institute calls it “axial distraction with tables with adjustable drop pieces or levers for joint tension release, and gentle spinal or joint repositioning.”

Drop table technique is a segmental approach to chiropractic care. It involves light pressure at each vertebrae level and a mechanical drop piece on each side. This increases joint range of motion, improves neural pathways, and assists with motor control and visceral regulation.

Studies prove that drop table technique improves spinal motion, reduces musculoskeletal pain, and eases symptoms related to whiplash, headaches, neck pain, and more. Clinicians who understand anatomy and biomechanics are necessary to ensure successful outcomes in treating neuromusculoskeletal conditions.

Benefits of the technique

The drop table technique is common in chiropractic. It’s seen as gentler than manual manipulation because it uses a weight-assisted pulley system to reduce force on sensitive areas. There are many advantages:

  • Less risk of injury while bringing balance and structure back. The pulley system reduces strain and pain, making treatment more comfortable for those with long-term pain or spinal dysfunction.

Beyond relieving back pain and tension, the improved alignment helps posture and range of motion. This promotes nerve health and reduces muscle spasms. Plus, chiropractic care has been shown to positively affect blood pressure, digestion, breathing, and memory.

Using the drop table technique is fast and comfortable, with lots of health benefits.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is the drop table technique in chiropractic care?

A: The drop table technique is a specialized chiropractic technique that involves the use of a table with sections that drop down. The table sections are set to drop at specific times during the adjustment, to assist the chiropractor in delivering a more precise and effective adjustment.

Q: How does the drop table technique work?

A: The chiropractor will adjust the position of the drop table sections to correspond with the location of the patient’s spinal subluxation. The chiropractor will then apply a gentle pressure to the affected area, and when the table section drops, it helps to relieve the pressure and tension that is causing the subluxation.

Q: Is the drop table technique safe?

A: Yes, the drop table technique is a safe and effective chiropractic adjustment. The chiropractor will take precautions and adjustments to ensure the patient’s safety and comfort throughout the adjustment.

Q: Who can benefit from the drop table technique?

A: Anyone with a spinal subluxation can benefit from the drop table technique. It is especially useful for patients who are experiencing back or neck pain, which may be caused by poor posture, injury, or an underlying medical condition.

Q: How many chiropractic sessions are needed to see results from the drop table technique?

A: The number of sessions will vary depending on the severity of the patient’s spinal subluxation and other individual factors. Typically, patients will experience some relief after the first few sessions, but may require additional sessions for more significant improvement.

Q: Is the drop table technique covered by insurance?

A: It depends on the patient’s insurance policy. Some insurance policies cover chiropractic care, but others do not. Patients should check with their insurance provider to determine their coverage for chiropractic care.

the back recovery program by alex larsson
Jane Smith is a natural health enthusiast on a mission to uncover effective methods for achieving pain-free living. Through her personal journey with chronic back pain, she has become well-versed in holistic approaches such as yoga, Pilates, and essential oils.

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