A Brief History of Chiropractic Care

April 26, 2014

It may surprise you to learn that Chinese and Greek authors as early as 2,700 B.C. and 1,500 B.C. wrote about adjustments of the spine, as well as the movement of lower extremities, to relieve back pain. The Greek physician Hippocrates can be quoted from one of his texts declaring, “Get knowledge of the spine, for this is the requisite for many diseases.”

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Despite the early start, chiropractic care as we know it began its development in September, 1895 by Daniel David Palmer. A man with a great interest in metaphysics, Palmer discovered that a displaced vertebra could cause nerve interference at the spinal level, resulting in less than 100% nerve flow between the brain and the tissue cells. He reasoned that these “displaced” vertebrae which he termed “subluxations” (Greek for less light) could be reduced by hand, and coined the term “chiropractic” from the Greek words “cheir” and “praktos,” which means “done by hand.” He believed many diseases and pain were caused by subluxations, which caused nerve interference and could be relieved with the proper chiropractic adjustment.

Although spinal adjustments have been done for centuries, Palmer refined the process and targeted contact points on the spine to maximize the results. As his first patient of record, Palmer’s adjustment resulted in the restoration of Harvey Lillard’s deafness of 17 years, which was the first major accomplishment in the development of this new profession called chiropractic.

In 1905, Palmer opened the “Palmer School of Chiropractic” in Davenport, Iowa, after refining his techniques and philosophies. Many of his earliest students were medical doctors and osteopaths during a time when new treatments were being actively explored. As a result, his school grew and remains open to this day.

Despite the success of chiropractic care, it was 1913 before the first state law allowed a license for chiropractic. By 1939, chiropractors could be licensed in 39 states. Today, there are more than 60,000 licensed doctors of chiropractic in 50 states across the nation, and chiropractic is recognized as a profession in many other countries.

Throughout the history of chiropractic care, the bottom line remains true — if you’re alive and have nerve interference, you’re better off without nerve interference. To learn more about chiropractic care or to save up to 50 percent on quality chiropractic care, please contact Chiropractic Lifecare of America, or call us at 800.775.7900.

Photo Source: Kings Park Patch

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