Chiropractic care has long been practiced throughout the medical history of humans. The word chiropractic is based from Greek roots translating to roughly, “Done by hand.” The word has been given credit to different people, but most likely was coined by the father of modern chiropractic care Dr. Palmer, or Reverend Samuel Weed. The meaning of the word is simple enough to describe the basics of modern chiropractic care.
A hands-on type of approach to healing and care has been logged and documented throughout history. As early as the time of Hippocrates, the father of Greek medicine, wrote about the importance of understanding the spine. The man chiropractic care is attributed to in the United States is Daniel David Palmer. In 1895 he performed what is known as the first chiropractic adjustment on a janitor that was working in his office. The janitor, Harvey Lillard, reportedly had been working one day when he heard a pop in his back and since then had experienced reduced hearing abilities.
Palmer recognized that there was a misplaced vertebrae in his back and proceeded to give Lillard an adjustment to put the vertebrae back into position. The next day Lillard returned exclaiming that he could hear better than he could since he first slipped that vertebrae.
Following this interaction, Palmer opened a school of chiropractic care two years later which was named the Palmer School of Cure. The beginnings of chiropractic care had roots in naturalism, spiritualism, and magnetism. All of which were not particularly scientifically proven fields, many of the things they deal with being things not well acquainted with the scientific method.
Palmer worked to bring science into his practice. He studied scientific theories and information extensively, primarily biological information such as anatomy and physiology. He sought to bring a scientific explanation for how and why such chiropractic care and adjustments had the positive effects that they did.
The school that Palmer started is still open today, now called Palmer College of Chiropractic. Many people were interested in this new science and healing art after Palmer’s first adjustment in 1895. After some years, chiropractors sought to be licensed medical professionals, which they eventually won. In 1913 the first state provided the legal recognition of chiropractic care by licensing professionals in the field.
In the United States today there are more than 70,000 licensed and practicing chiropractors. Chiropractic care is recognized by all 50 states and U.S. territories as a legitimate health care profession.