Chiropractic care is a complementary and alternative medicine involving mainly the neuromuscular and skeletal system. It focuses on the prevention, diagnosis and management of conditions involving the neurologic system, soft tissues and bones. Chiropractic care revolves around the principle of manual therapy in order to relieve dysfunctions around joint and other areas of the musculoskeletal system.
Chiropractic care was founded in 1895 by D.D. Palmer. Palmer was a magnetic healer from Davenport, Iowa. He rooted chiropractic care from naturalism, vitalism, spiritualism and magnetism, which do not always coincide with existing body of knowledge. This is the reason that chiropractic care has received negative views by other people. Nevertheless, it has evolved from unsupported medical practice to a well established profession all over the world.
Chiropractic care is widely practiced today all over the world and chiropractors now have the most advanced educational preparation in order to practice the profession. Among most of the countries, chiropractic care is widespread in Australia, Europe and North America.
Early Principles of Chiropractic Care
Chiropractic care was first described by D.D. Palmer as a science of manipulating the body. The body is viewed as a machine that can be manipulated to achieve a drug-free management for conditions. Palmer professed the use of spinal manipulation to manage subluxations in the joint and relieve symptoms. This belief is also synonymous to the principles of osteopathy by Andrew Still. While the principles of osteopathy and chiropractic is almost similar, chiropractic care attributes manipulation to the nervous system while osteopathy focuses on the circulatory system.
Early Practice of Chiropractic Care
D.D. Palmer first conducted chiropractic care in 1895 to Harvey Lillard. This was when Palmer is conducting a study on a man with partial deafness. Lillard accounted that 17 years ago, he felt that his back had a pop and he had become partially deaf at that time. Palmer found a sore area on Lillard’s back and believed this to be a misalignment of the spine. This misalignment was further seen by Palmer as the cause of his deafness. The chiropractic care Palmer employed to Lillard was focused on correcting the spinal misalignment and Palmer claimed that he had improved the hearing of Lillard after the manipulation.
The story in the management of Lillard’s deafness is quite different from the perspective of Lillard’s daughter, but the overall story was that Palmer accidentally manipulated the spine of her father leading to the improvement of the hearing of Lillard.
Since the restoration of hearing of Lillard, a lot of controversies about chiropractic care arouse. Many state that there is no link between the spinal nerve roots and hearing. V. Strang described the relationship of the spine and the brain years later, but there was no direct link to hearing as well.
After the first case of chiropractic care, Palmer again performed the manipulation to a person with unresolving heart trouble. After manipulating a displaced vertebra that affects the nerves that innervate the heart, Palmer accounted that he had provided immediate relief to the person. Palmer thought that if two different conditions (deafness and heart trouble), responded positively to chiropractic care, then there could be other connections of the spine to other parts of the body. This gave rise to the Chiropractic principle that is still being used until now by chiropractors all over the world.