Investing in the Most Important Piece – Choosing a Treatment Table for Your Clinic Needs.
Written by Kyle Lee, O.T. Reg (Ont.)
One of the most important and most used pieces of equipment in a clinic is the Treatment Table.
Are you a massage therapist, physical therapist, chiropractor, Osteopath? Do you combine different approaches? We challenge Canadian therapists and clinic owners to think more critically about which table(s) they choose to put into their practice, as it’s not just a one size fits all solution as many think! You have to keep in mind that a treatment table is the staple equipment for every practitioner. It is a long-term investment and will optimize your patient outcomes each and every day.
Being Canada’s premier treatment table specialist for over 20 years, these are some of the more frequently asked questions when a clinic or therapist is in the market for a new treatment table.
How many sections do I need?
First off, table sections refer to how many different padding sections are on the treatment table. A Massage Therapist will typically need a uniform surface to perform treatment, while not compromising patient comfort. Whereas an Osteopath and other demanding therapies require a therapy table with multiple sections as it allows complete relaxation of the body and increases the accessibility to the patient.
The most commonly purchased table for a standard physiotherapy practice is the 3-section table. This indicates the table has a vertically adjustable head section that can be moved effortlessly during treatment, a solid midsection, and a leg section that is also movable to position the lower half of the patient’s body for comfort. This section can be used as a backrest to sit the patent up vertically for various treatment applications.
A 5-section treatment table will take the same features from a 3-section table and add 2 armrests. Usually, the Head section is narrowed to accommodate the armrests. Armrests have gained in popularity as therapists see the therapeutic value of having a client’s arms supported which ultimately relaxes the shoulders and upper back. Most massage therapists and Chiropractors would prefer a 3-part head section!
Tables are not just limited to a 1 or 2 part body section which you typically see out on the market. Novak offers a unique 8 section that can handle any position, synergistically working with the therapist as they are treating. This type of table would offer a clinic a multipurpose room where a physiotherapist, chiropractor, massage, and a foot care specialist can all share. The extra cost in purchasing an 8 section in fact will be able to monetize the room ever further thus generating more revenue and decreasing the investment cost of your table.
Do tables still have foot pedals, or should I get a surround elevation bar?
Tables now utilize an elevation bar surrounding the table to raise or lower the table. This is called Electric HI/Low. Many will get the term Hydraulic mixed up with Hi/low. Hydraulic refers to a system like a barber’s chair where you pump on a foot lever to raise and lower the table. This is using a hydraulic cylinder. This is typically used in educational facilities where electrical outlets may not be available for a lot of tables.
Tables using the older style foot pedal are less expensive and can still be found. Many table companies have phased this out as it is not convenient to raise or lower a table when the foot pedal is on the other side.
Do I need a table with Castors (Wheels)?
Castors are necessary when transporting the table to the clinic. Also, some clinics require the table to be moved within a room to access certain parts of the client. Novak and Lojer tables utilize an effortless central raising and locking mechanism which requires one foot to raise and lower the table This is referred to as Central Locking Castors. If the table does not need to move, then a fixed table will work. In most instances’ treatment tables will come with castors as a standard option.
Can I measure the table as my treament rooms are small and how high/low will it go?
Size plays a factor depending on the room it will eventually be placed in. Be sure to ask for the specs with the table at the highest and lowest point. Also don’t just account for the size of the room but also the height of the therapist, a taller practitioner may prefer a table that can go higher. If placing a treatment table in a
smaller room, always account for some horizontal travel when the table is raised. I have seen my fair share of small treatment rooms where the tables pushed up against the wall, resulting in damage to the drywall or table itself. There are premium options such as the Lojer Fx-5 that does not have any horizontal drift when raising lowering as it is operated on two vertical columns.
Can I treat Bariatric clients on any table?
Pay attention to the weight capacity of the table. If seeing bariatric patients, a treatment table with a weight capacity of up to 600 weight capacity may be required. Our Lojer Bobath / mat table has the max capacity specs for bariatric patients. Remington only sells certified tables that have been tested and designed to meet all standard safety regulations here in Canada.
What is the density of the upholstery? Can it be customized?
Upholstery density is up to the therapists. There was a time 20 years ago where we sold mostly firm padding in the midsection to our Manual Therapists. They preferred this to prevent any energy loss during manipulations into the typical soft table padding. Therapists’ preferences are now transitioning to a bit softer and thicker padding to accommodate multi-purpose treatments.
Massage therapists prefer a softer density of padding for client comfort, especially on the face section. Many tables come with padding densities pre-selected to the industry standard. However, we can custom order different densities if you are willing to wait for that perfect match!
How durable is the table and the Upholstery- My old tabletop is all cracked and hard and keeps squeaking when a client is on the table?
We all look at a table for its design and aesthetics first. Like buying a car, we look at the design then get into the features. The NOVAK and LOJER tables are the best-looking tables in the market today. We ask you to compare. HOWEVER, what many do not realize are the many features each table has and the manufacturing standards involved. You can find videos showing their manufacturing plant and the robotic welds and high-tech design software. Ask your current table manufacturer for the same.
Lojer’s FUTURE upholstery is the finest on the market used and tested in Hospital settings. It is a cutting-edge material featuring a coating technology that remains on the surface and does not wear out even when cleaned. It prevents bacteria growth. It is 3 to 6 times more durable than standard upholstery as it has a high resistance to cracking, splitting, and loss of flexibility. IT is also waterproof and fade-resistant.
We have heard of stories where clinics consider it normal to pay hundreds to change padding every two years.
Can I choose Colour and any other customizations?
Finally, the fun part, choosing the colour which expresses your clinic’s personality. We have had customers come in and fall in love with one of our custom colours they have switched their corporate colours to match the table. This is the fun part for us. We try to stock as many colours as possible, however, if there is a colour we do not have you can customize your table and we can special order the table(s) in for you.
Whichever table you decide, the best table is the one that will serve all your needs as well as provide you with years of trouble-free service and transform your clinic into something more effective for your clients and staff.