All About Chiropractic

Chiropractic (from Greek cheir-“hand” and praktikos- “done by”) was first discovered by Daniel David Palmer, a lay healer in Davenport, Iowa in 1895. The janitor in his building, Harvey Lillard, had lost his hearing following a back injury and when Palmer examined him and located a vertebra (spinal bone) in the upper part of the spine that was misaligned, he manipulated it back into position and restored the man’s hearing. This Vertical Spinal Column very first “chiropractic adjustment” was at first believed by Palmer to be a treatment for deafness! But, he soon realized that the removal of mechanical pressure upon nerves could potentially alleviate a broad variety of ills. Taking the concept further, his son Bartlett Joshua Palmer (“B.J.”) discerned that freeing the body to heal and maintain itself naturally by removing nerve interference would not only prevent disease, but more importantly, would allow the body to function as close to 100% as possible. Chiropractic was the first and remains the only health profession to adopt and preach the concept of “holism” by placing the responsibility for healing where it truly belongs- within the body of the person who is sick. That person’s body knows more about how to heal itself than any doctor will ever know and it only needs “no interference” to rebuild and repair itself.

While maintaining the basic premise that structural interference to the nerve system causes decreased function and “dis-ease” in the body, the Chiropractic profession, over its 100+ year history, has evolved into the largest, non-drug, non-surgical healing system in the world. The Doctor of Chiropractic (D.C.) is licensed as a primary, portal-of-entry health care provider throughout the United States, Canada, and in most foreign countries. Chiropractic colleges receive their accreditation from the Council on Chiropractic Education which is a branch of the federal government’s Department of Health, Education and Welfare. Educational requirements leading to the D.C. degree are similar to that of any other physician including two to four years of undergraduate study with emphasis in natural sciences (biology, chemistry, etc.), followed by a minimum of four years of study in an accredited chiropractic college. The four to five year chiropractic curriculum includes core sciences (anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, etc.), clinical sciences (physical diagnosis, pathology, orthopedics, neurology, radiology, lab diagnosis, chiropractic analysis, chiropractic adjusting techniques, etc.) and an internship which is served at outpatient clinics that are owned and run by the chiropractic colleges.

Since chiropractic care is an art (the spinal adjustment), there can be variation in treatment methods from one D.C. to another based on where and when they attended chiropractic college, their post-graduate training and what the individual chiropractor has found through his or her personal experience works best for the patients under their care. Chiropractic spinal adjustments are extremely safe and effective in the hands of a qualified Doctor of Chiropractic which is evidenced not only by a high rate of success and patient satisfaction, but also by the fact that chiropractors pay the lowest malpractice premiums of any physicians in the United States.

Chiropractic physicians also have the opportunity to earn postdoctoral board certifications (diplomate status) in the areas of orthopedics, neurology, sports medicine, radiology, nutrition, pediatrics, internal disorders and occupational health. These board certifications require at least an additional three years of study, written and practical examinations, and may require publishing in a peer-reviewed journal.

“The doctor of the future will give no medicine but will interest his patients in the care of the human frame, in diet and in the cause and prevention of disease.” – attributed to Thomas Edison.