by Brandi Schlossberg
Modern chiropractic tables can perform all kinds of valuable tasks for the professional chiropractor. From automatically raising up and down, to providing precise traction and perfectly placed drops, there is much to celebrate when it comes to the evolution of the chiropractic table.
The earliest chiropractic tables were much like basic work benches — they did not allow for much movement of the patient’s body during a session. The need for greater flexibility and comfort for the person on the table was part of what prompted changes to the chiropractic table, coupled with the desire to deliver each technique in the best possible way.
According to the article, “From work bench to high tech: the evolution of the adjustment table,” written by Dick Wells and published in the December 1987 issue of Chiropractic History, some of the first changes and improvements to chiropractic tables had to do with adding padding for comfort and cushioning. Other alterations happened around this time, most often motivated by the need for greater patient comfort, along with greater ease of application for the chiropractor. Wells reported that chiropractic tables began to be built with open spaces for the face, so the nose would not be smashed against the table, for example.
Building chiropractic tables in segments, which would allow for the delivery of new techniques, was another trend that began early in the evolution of the chiropractic table. Soon, spring loading was introduced, as well.
Wells also reported that mechanical chiropractic tables began to be developed and manufactured around 1910. A man named Bert Clayton in Davenport, Iowa, used compressed air to make the table move mechanically. Not much later, a chiropractor and a chiropractic student teamed up to develop a hi-lo table, complete with a motor-operated electric lift, according to the article.
This was a big turning point in the production of chiropractic tables, as the automated features have allowed for more advances in both client comfort and ease of application for the chiropractor.
Chiropractic tables have evolved to feature not only open spaces for the faces of clients and patients, but also what are called drop segments. These pieces of the chiropractic table are strategically placed so that certain parts of the body have room to drop down when the chiropractor applies his or her techniques.
From flat and basic work benches to the technologically advanced engineering of today’s chiropractic tables, it is clear that there has been quite an evolution when it comes to this mainstay of the chiropractic profession.