Heese N | Chiropr Hist | 2013 Win;32(2):50-58

Chiropractic therapeutic concepts in the early decades of the 20th century were often a result of original thinking by the developer coupled with chance circumstances followed up with clinical research.

Around 1920, Dr. Major Bertrand De Jarnette observed a demonstration of a pneumatic table used for manipulation. Built into the pelvic portion was a raised area that allowed leverage to affect pelvic distortions. Later that decade the table was actually used in adjusting the back problems De Jarnette acquired in a severe accident some ten years earlier. This particular therapy began to do more for his condition than any spinal manipulation was able to do.

Inventive in nature, De Jarnette began to conduct hundreds of experiments over the following decades to develop therapies with objects he could place under the pelvis to use as leverage. His later clinical research concluded with wooden pelvic wedges (herein called blocks) which were specifically placed to align the pelvis, using body weight as the energy and respiration as the force needed for the adjustment. De Jarnette introduced the pelvic block techniques in his clinical forums and publications in 1964. This article explores the conceptual origin, design, and development of the blocks.