Founder: J. Clay Thompson, DC, PhC
Year founded: This technique was founded in the early 1950s; however, one of Thompson’s understudies, Erik A. Chamberjian, DC, CCEP, FICPA, says that patents were not granted on Thompson’s drop devices until a few years later. Specifically, the Palmer-Thompson drop headpiece was patented in 1955 and a table with drops for dorsal, lumbar, and pelvic areas was patented in 1957.
Certification requirements: This technique is taught at a basic level in chiropractic schools, but becoming a certified Thompson Technique provider requires taking a course on this chiropractic method and passing a subsequent exam. Additionally, recertification may be required at regular intervals to maintain certification.
Technique description: The Thompson Technique uses a drop table to help DCs provide high velocity, low amplitude, and low force adjustments. This offers patients a less forceful adjustment while also reducing wear and tear on the doctor’s body because the manipulation is assisted by the drop device. According to a survey of 218 DCs, this technique is used by 59 percent of practitioners at least once every other week.
Basic technique principles: Logan University states that the Derifield leg check is “at the heart of” the Thompson Technique. In fact, this technique is so grounded in this particular diagnostic method that it is now commonly referred to as the Derifield-Thompson leg check, which involves analyzing a patient’s cervical and pelvic movement via leg length to help the DC diagnose spine-related issues.
Research published in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics adds that this check can help clinicians “reliably measure a LLI [leg length inequality] to less than 3 mm (both inter- and intraobserver), and also detect a change in LLI when the head was rotated.”
Conditions this technique helps treat: Studies have found that the Thompson Technique provides benefits relating to: