The Thompson Technique, often referred to as Thompson Drop or Drop Table, is a chiropractic analysis and adjusting technique that combines precision with comfort while addressing the full spine. It was developed by a chiropractor named Dr. J. Clay Thompson and is widely used for various conditions. Dr. Thompson received a patent for this invention in 1955, and its safety and efficacy continue to make it one of the most popular adjusting techniques today.
The Thompson Technique includes a system of analysis that checks leg length to determine where in the spine misalignments exist. After adjusting, we’ll re-check the legs to confirm the lengths are now equal—which shows alignment has been restored.
This technique requires a special drop table. The table is segmented, with individual areas that drop when the thrust is administered. Because the segments give way, gravity assists the adjustments, which requires less energy to move the spinal segment. The result is a gentler manual adjustment with no twisting, popping or cracking.
Since the table reduces the force necessary to move the bones, it’s a safe alternative for patients who don’t tolerate traditional manual adjustments well. In addition, the table can be set to provide effective adjustments for patients of all ages. Even patients with osteoporosis can enjoy the benefits of chiropractic adjustments through this technique, which doesn’t apply as much force to the bones as other manual techniques.
Because Dr. Thuraia Owais (Dr. O) specializes in upper cervical work, she always starts by addressing the Atlas and the Axis (C1 and C2), which are the first two vertebrae in the neck. For most patients, resolving issues here will allow the rest of the spine to realign on its own.
However, for some patients, issues in the back and pelvis remain. In these cases, Dr. O will perform leg-length checks to determine the location of misalignments. She’ll then adjust the appropriate segments using the safe, gentle Thompson Technique.
You’ll lie comfortably, face-down on the segmented drop table. As Dr. O performs your adjustments, the drop piece supporting each specific area of the spine will give way. As it does so, the table makes a loud noise. (This sometimes startles patients the first time they hear it, but they quickly get used to the sound.) Finally, Dr. O will re-check your legs to ensure the correction has held.
After your adjustment, you may feel some soreness. This is a normal effect of restoring proper alignment—when your body has become accustomed to being in a certain position, changing that involves muscles and ligaments moving in new ways. The resulting soreness is the same as soreness you expect to feel after working out, and can be relieved with ice.