The History of Chiropractic

Millions of Americans suffering from back pain visit chiropractors every year for pain relief. Whether their pain results from sports injuries, accidents, or muscle strains, more and more people are turning to chiropractic care.

Let’s take a look at what chiropractic care is, what it involves, and learn a little about the history of chiropractic medicine.

What Is Chiropractic Care?

Chiropractic is a type of health care involving manual therapy that utilizes the body’s ability to heal itself. The profession operates on the theory that by properly aligning your body’s musculoskeletal structure, especially your spine, it can heal itself without medication or surgery.

What Does It Entail?

Chiropractors use various treatments like hands-on spinal manipulation — this can return mobility to joints that are restricted by tissue injury from traumatic events, such as accidents or repetitive stress.

Treatment plans often involve several adjustments where your doctor manipulates your joints using a controlled, sudden force. This force helps improve your range of motion. Your chiropractor might also incorporate exercise and nutritional counseling into your treatment plan.

What Is the History of Chiropractic Care?

daniel david palmer

Chiropractic comes from cheir and praktos, Greek words meaning hand and done, respectively. Though you can trace manual healing methods back to ancient times, it wasn’t until 1895 that the chiropractic profession began taking shape in the United States.

That was the year when Daniel David Palmer, the founder of chiropractic, adjusted a deaf janitor’s spine and claimed that the adjustment restored the janitor’s hearing.

Palmer never claimed to be the first person to use manipulation to cure diseases. However, he did claim to be the first to use certain contacts as short-leverage points to make more specific spinal adjustments.

Shortly after that, Palmer created the first chiropractic school in Davenport, Iowa, where he and others refined chiropractic manual adjustment techniques. They also studied how to use manual manipulation to relieve pain.

Early Years

The early years of chiropractors’ history created a significant deal of tension between this new approach and conventional allopathic medicine. While statutes to practice were not established until later, many chiropractors continued serving their patients.

In fact, until the 1960s, chiropractors were commonly fined or jailed for practicing without a license.

However, the U.S. government started funding chiropractic research in 1966 through the National Institutes of Health, paving the way for the profession to receive millions of dollars in federal funding.

national institute of health

Integration Into Healthcare Plans

The following years saw chiropractors begin forming professional societies that would launch efforts to standardize teaching and support new research. The official recognition of the Council on Chiropractic Education by the Department of Education in 1974 was the beginning of an increase in accredited chiropractic colleges.

With a growing body of supporting research, chiropractic care was added to several healthcare systems and private and public healthcare plans.

In 1972, spinal manipulation was included in Medicare. Two years later, it became a benefit in the Federal Employee Health Benefits Program. Today, it is a benefit in most state workers’ compensation programs.

Chiropractic Care Today

chiropractor adjusting baby

While the chiropractic profession has reached new heights since then, it continues to grow. At the moment, there are over 70,000 licensed chiropractors in the United States practicing in major hospital systems, multidisciplinary clinics, and solo practices.

Though spinal manipulation remains a centerpiece in chiropractic care, today’s chiropractors are developing various new practice styles. These styles feature flexible modalities and therapies that promise to address patients’ needs better.

Many of them are implementing a holistic approach to your health care — an approach that primarily excludes surgery or drugs.

Quality Chiropractic Treatment

From contested beginnings to being one of the most sought-after pain relief treatments, the history of chiropractic is still being written. Today, more and more people are lauding the effectiveness of this treatment for dealing with a wide range of pain.

For instance, besides acute back pain, patients are using chiropractic care to address headaches and neck pain. Research also shows that fibromyalgia and osteoarthritis might respond to the moderate pressure of chiropractic adjustments.

If you are in the Citrus Heights area and require a licensed, expertly trained, and experienced chiropractor, reach out to Sunrise Chiropractic for practical solutions to your pain.

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