Developing a flagship product for multi-national users

Design Central developed the Adapta physical therapy table to address clinician, patient and marketing requirements by combining a modern design with high-tech, improved materials to reduce product weight, manufacturing and shipping costs. The new design offers clinicians flexibility and the opportunity to upgrade with increased modularity; integrated controls and achievements in weight and height capabilities address ergonomic needs; an attractive appearance appeals to a multi-national audience; fewer welds and more bends to save on fabrication. The table is designed for assembly in any part of the world. The Adapta table launched worldwide in 2010 and is still the flagship product for Chattanooga Group.

  • Chattanooga
  • Healthcare
  • Strategy
  • Research
  • Product Design
  • Prototyping


Design Central teamed up with Chattanooga to learn about the difficulties chiropractors and physical therapists experienced when treating patients. We watched independent practitioners work to understand what encumbers treatment and what makes it succeed. Clinicians experience difficulty performing certain treatments when patients have limited mobility from injuries, weight and age. It was also clear that these same injured, overweight and elderly patients have difficulty with ingress and egress on tables that are not at a suitable entry height, and when cushioning is uncomfortable it can make tables feel and look unwelcoming. This data informed a list of table attributes to integrate into the new design.


The Adapta therapy table offers the clinician an ergonomically superior table to minimize the risk of Repetitive Strain Injury. In a departure from traditional table design, the controls were integrated into the body of the table, helping reduce the repetitive motions required for proper use of the table. Integration of controls benefits the patient by creating a smooth, comfortable surface on which to rest during treatment. Adapta’s common lift structure provides increased lift capacity up to 450 pounds. A low entry height of 18 inches makes it wheelchair compatible and, with a height adjustment capability up to 32 inches, ensures clinicians can achieve proper treatment posture. Chest, pelvic and leg sections were developed independently to deliver the best treatment event possible; along with specially designed traction options, this attention to ergonomics increases comfort and improves usability for all stakeholders, regardless of mobility or ability. 

Design & Development

Design Central worked with Chattanooga to develop features for the Adapta table that make it unique to the treatment market and friendly to the user. We developed the table’s platform with a common lift structure and optional treatment surfaces to enable practitioners to choose from low-cost, entry level tables to highly functional treatment options. Adapta’s common lift structure, along with its modular sub-assemblies, simplifies assembly during manufacturing. Its collapsible design allows for flat shipment in one or two cartons to meet standards for worldwide shipment.  Adapta’s modular table pads were developed to comfortably contour the shape of the body with modern styling and international appeal. Its treatment surfaces are comprised of durable new materials that engage cut and sew technologies already in use by Chattanooga. Covers were designed to hide mechanical workings and create a clean, comfortable look throughout the silhouette of the treatment table. The design of the Adapta table communicates the unique characteristics of the Chattanooga brand and stands out from other therapy and traction equipment in the treatment setting.