There are many different types of chiropractic tables available today. Chiropractic tables vary vastly by a number of different features, including technology, portability, and how they are used for different treatments. Many are designed for specific chiropractic treatments and therapies.
Understanding Drop Tables/Drop Segments
Chiropractic tables, including stationary, portable, elevation, and hylo tables, can all be considered “drop tables” if they include drop segments. Chiropractors use drop tables to perform the Thompson technique, also known as the drop table technique. During this treatment, the table segment is raised and pressure is applied to the patient until the table segment drops into place. Drop segments are used for treatments involving pelvic, thoracic, cervical, and abdominal. Using a drop table puts less force on the patient and is typically considered to be better on the doctor’s body as well.
Stationary Table: A stationary table is a traditional chiropractic table, still used in many chiropractic offices today. These tables typically require less maintenance and are less expensive than the more technological counterparts. Stationary tables can come with multiple drop options for chiropractic adjustments and are typically well padded for patient comfort.
Portable Table: Portable tables are similar to stationary tables but are built for portability. They can be moved and stored easily. Companies like Thuli Tables specialize in customizable portable tables and offer options like added flexion distraction. Thule recently added a new portable pediatric table to its list of products called the “Junior.”
Pediatric Table: A pediatric chiropractic table is designed specifically for pediatric patients, often with child-centric themes and colors. Many of these chiropractic tables are smaller versions of adult-sized chiropractic tables, designed specifically with the size of the pediatric patient in mind.
Elevation Table: An elevation table is adjustable by height. It may use a motor and simple foot switch to adjust the height of the table, or it may be manually adjusted. The benefit of an elevation table is that it requires less strain for the doctor when they are making chiropractic adjustments.
Hylo (Hilo or High-Low) Table: A hylo table—like an elevation table—is adjustable by height, but can also be positioned vertically. This vertical alignment can be useful for chiropractors working with patients with limited mobility. Different manufacturers may label these tables as “hilo” or “high-low.”
Flexion Distraction Table: The flexion distraction technique is often used by chiropractors as a nonsurgical procedure to relieve pressure near the spinal region. Patients treated with this technique may have bulging discs or herniated discs, and chronic lower back pain. To perform the flexion treatment, a doctor adjusts the patient’s body by moving portions of the table. A flexion table can operate automatically or manually. Some manual tables like the Hill Laboratories Air-Flex Chiropractic Flexion Distraction Table offer additional options like air-powered drops and automatic flexion distraction. Manufacturer Thuli Tables offers the option to add flexion distraction to some of its portable tables.
Intersegmental Traction Table: Intersegmental traction is a therapy which uses a roller to stretch spinal joints to increase mobility. An intersegmental traction table may also be referred to as a roller table. These tables can be manual or automatic. Some intersegmental traction tables include a vibrating feature for massage.
Decompression Table: Non-surgical spinal decompression therapy uses a spinal decompression table to stretch the spine, allowing spinal fluid to move back into place. This type of therapy is used for herniated or bulging discs, as well as a number of other chronic back pain conditions. These tables are typically expensive, high-end tables with advanced technological features. Some spinal decompression tables, like the HillDT Spinal Decompression Table, use sensors to detect muscle resistance and can even store patient profiles.
Tips for purchasing a chiropractic table:
There are so many different types of chiropractic tables on the market today. The type of chiropractic table you choose for your business should meet your patients’ and your needs. While inexpensive options might work for your practice, a more expensive table that allows you to do more with less strain on your body might be worth the investment. Here are some things you should consider when you set out to purchase a new table for your chiropractic business:
- Choose a reputable manufacturer.
- Make sure there is at least a one year warranty on your table.
- Ensure the table is comfortable for you and your patients. Many tables are designed with ergonomics in mind. Test out a table before you buy it to make sure it will work for both you and your patients.
- Do your research to make sure the table will meet your patients’ needs. Do you have multiple patients with limited mobility? Do you need a machine that has flexion distraction?
- Consider maintenance. Does your table require continual maintenance and upkeep? Will you need assistance with maintenance and calibration?
- Shop around. Call manufacturers to ask questions and get prices. These tables are a significant investment for your business and you want to make sure it will work for you.
All MHTT tables, new or refurbished, have a 1 year labor and parts warranty. Learn more about maintaining and repairing your table in our blog Repairing a Chiropractic Table.