Chiropractic care, in various forms, has been around all over the world since the beginning of recorded time.
There are even ancient writings from Greece and China that include accounts of Chiropractic manipulation as a treatment for lower back pain.
Though there is evidence of spinal manipulation throughout history, Chiropractic care as we know it today took a bit longer to develop.
In fact, modern Chiropractic wasn’t founded until the late 19th century.
In 1895, Daniel David Palmer performed the first Chiropractic Adjustment on Harvey Lillard. Lillard had lost his hearing shortly after feeling something “pop” in his back some years before.
D.D. Palmer was familiar with human anatomy and fascinated by how the spine affects the rest of the body. He hypothesized that an issue with Lillard’s spine was causing his deafness, and used Chiropractic manipulation in an attempt to cure him.
Though he wasn’t able to cure Lillard, the patient did report some improvement. Whether this was a direct result of the Chiropractic care or not, it marked the beginning of what would become the Chiropractic we know today.
The term “Chiropractic,” meaning “done by hand,” was coined by D. D. Palmer. In 1905, he opened the Palmer School and Infirmary of Chiropractic and began teaching his “hand treatments” to his students, many of whom were medical doctors already.
D. D. Palmer’s son, B. J. Palm took over the school in 1907 and set the tone for modern Chiropractic care. He promoted professionalism, formal training and the use of diagnostic technology like X-rays.
B. J. Palmer’s son, David Daniel Palmer, attended Wharton School of Business and graduated as a Doctor of Chiropractic from the Palmer school. He became the third president of the Palmer school and launched several broadcasting ventures that helped to popularize Chiropractic care.
It took several decades for the traditional medical community to accept Chiropractic manipulation as a legitimate form of treatment. Consequently, it was difficult for chiropractic doctors to get the licenses they needed to practice legally.
It took until 1974 for Chiropractic doctors to be given licensing rights in all 50 states. Now most health insurance providers cover Chiropractic care and many states even offer chiropractic care under Medicaid.
Today’s Chiropractic practitioners are required to complete four to five years of education at an accredited chiropractic college, including 4,200 hours of classroom, lab, and clinical experience. They must also pass the national board exam and any state exams.
Chiropractic care has come a long way, from a simple hypothesis to a thriving industry in 120 years, and that’s not the end.
Even today, Chiropractors are working with traditional medical practitioners and looking toward developing more efficient and effective methods of treating their patients.