Health Care Guide Of Family

The History of Chiropractic Care

Chiropractic Care

When it comes to finding a chiropractor, Portland residents don’t often know how the practice got started. There have been a multitude of studies indicating how effective chiropractic care can be for certain conditions, but like many medical specialties it has evolved substantially over the years. Medical advances often occur when a practitioner stumbles upon a major discovery. These aren’t always sought after. The discovery of penicillin for instance, occurred when Alexander Fleming was running an unrelated experiment that was contaminated with mold. That mold inhibited the growth of staphylococcus and a discovery was born. Chiropractic Medicine came about in a similar fashion.

The founding father of chiropractic medicine

Chiropractic Consultation
Chiropractic care was discovered by Daniel David Palmer in 1895. There are several variations on this story, but they all involve the same players. Harvey Lillard was a janitor who was partially deaf or deaf in one ear. He had suffered some sort of trauma, either related to his head or back. Palmer examined his back and noticed a vertebrae was out of alignment. He corrected the alignment of Lillard’s vertebrae. The next day Lillard regained his hearing.

As a practitioner of a variety of different medicinal practices of the day, Palmer sought to incorporate metaphysics and science. His original tenants regarding the nature of chiropractic care had to do with the ability of the body to heal itself. He believed there was a connection between mind, body, and spirit. Treatment didn’t just have to involve fixing a problem. Treatment could also involve freeing the body to allow it to heal itself. Although very similar to Osteopathy, Physician Andrew Taylor and Daniel David Palmer were frequently at odds with one another.

Chiropractic in the mid-century.

Chiropractic medicine hasn’t been without it’s controversies. Embroiled in a near constant back and forth with traditional medicine, some of the more outmoded ways of thinking about chiropractic care are being slowly phased out. This has fractured the chiropractic community into two distinct schools of thought. One seeks to validated chiropractic adjustment through the use of evidence based care that delivers definitive results. The other is more holistic in nature, relying heavily on Palmer’s original teachings.

The Two Chiropractic Modalities

The testable principle The untestable metaphor
Chiropractic adjustment

Restoration of structural integrity

Improvement of health status

Universal intelligence

Innate intelligence

Body physiology

Materialistic: Vitalistic:
  • Operational definitions possible
  • Lends itself to scientific inquiry
  • Origin of holism in chiropractic
  • Cannot be proven or disproven
Taken from Mootz & Phillips 1997[33] 

Complete Chart Sourced from Wikipedia/wiki/Chiropractic


Reformation of the chiropractic method.

Changes first began occurring in 1935 at the B.J. Palmer Research Clinic. This was one of the many schools B.J. Palmer—the son of David Palmer—helped to establish after his father’s passing. He sought to legitimize the use of chiropractic care in order to help the medical field move forward. This involved dispelling much of the remaining mysticism that still surrounded the methodology and executing measurable scientific studies in order to determine the best methods, achievable results, and where it does the most good.

Attacked by the AMA

The American Medical Association attempted to completely discredit chiropractic care in the 1960’s. Their informational campaigns were designed to hinder legitimization of the practice. This carried on from 1963 until 1975. In 1975 a AMA staffer turned against his organization and released information that was used in a later law suit against the AMA. The suit alleged and that the AMA unlawfully conspired against the chiropractic profession. This was determined to be the case as were violations of certain parts of the Sherman Act on behalf of the AMA.

The merging of chiropractic care and modern medicine.

In 1975 a meeting occurred between doctors, scientists, osteopaths, and chiropractors under the National Institutes of Health. This brought all of these disparate professions together in order to discuss strategies that could be employed to better study spinal manipulation effects. This radical shift and coming together has led the way for further advances that include a Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics as well as inclusion in the index of the National Library of Medicine. Recognition from a variety of major fields including sports and rehabilitative medicine have legitimized the usage of spinal manipulation to restore mobility and even entirely eliminate ill affect caused by certain maladies.

Current Treatments and Guidelines

Depending on which chiropractor you visit and what school they subscribe to you may get different information regarding treatments. Though there are still some practitioners who will claim a wide range of benefits that may not necessarily be applicable, many focus on definable and treatable conditions. These include the treatment of herniated discs, arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome, strains and sprains, stress, muscle spasms, herniated discs, and more.

Injury categories many chiropractors treat for include auto, work, and sports injuries from falls, strains, accidents, and more. Many sufferers from long-time chronic conditions find relief from chiropractic care. The chiropractor performs a spinal analysis and may use a number of different tools including x-rays to determine where misalignment is occurring. This provides a two-fold benefit by helping the chiropractor to more easily identify areas that need work while providing the patient with an easy way to monitor their progress.

In addition to spinal adjustments

Back pain
While chiropractic care originally focused on spinal adjustments it has greatly expanded in scope and breadth. Chiropractors more heavily focus on the body as a whole and seek to help patients improve every aspect of their life and health. This means patients will often be asked to take an active role in their health. That’s why some chiropractors have a nutritionist on staff or nutrition training as well as training in health and wellness methods that include stress reduction and physical fitness. Some of the things you can expect from a modern day chiropractor include:

  • Exercise Planning
  • Therapeutic Exercise
  • Posture Correction
  • Dietary Changes
  • Stress Reduction Techniques
  • Self-Care Strategies
  • Behavioral Change
  • Cryotherapy
  • Trigger point Therapy

These are typically utilized in-tandem with spinal adjustments in order to get the best results. Patient participation can greatly aid in recovery efforts, especially when certain factors are working together to cause all of or part of a patient’s initial problem.

Studies determining the effectiveness of chiropractic

There have been a number of studies performed in order to provide evidentiary backing to chiropractic services. Many of these have covered back and neck pain, an area where chiropractic treatment seems to excel. Just some of the conditions chiropractic care has been proven to treat include:

  • Sciatica – This is pain caused by excess pressure on the sciatic nerve.
  • Neck pain – Treatment has been effective for acute and sub-acute mechanical neck pain.
  • Headaches – Studies have indicated relief from both tension headaches and migraines.
  • Osteoarthritis – Effectiveness depends on the extent and area of the arthritis.

There are many more areas where chiropractic care and be an effective choice. If you’re considering entering chiropractic care, consult with your chiropractor. They will be able to determine if their services are the right option to help you on the road to recovery.