Chiropractic is a health care profession that deals with the musculoskeletal system and its effects on the nervous system and an individual’s general health. It is a manual therapy that is used to manipulate dysfunctional areas of the body and restore them to their properly moving and functional state, thereby alleviating pain and muscle tightness.
Chiropractors use diagnostic imaging, lab tests, orthopedic testing, and neurological assessments to diagnose and treat people with health issues. The chiropractic doctor may also recommend physiotherapy, exercise, lifestyle counseling, and nutritional advice to help restore a patient’s health.
History of Chiropractic
Manual manipulation of the spine and extremities have been around for a long time. Ancient writings from China and Greece dating between 2700 B.C. and 1500 B.C. mention spinal manipulation and the maneuvering of the lower extremities to ease low back pain. In fact, Hippocrates, the famous Greek physician who lived from 460 to 357 B.C., published a text detailing the importance of manual manipulation. In one of his writings he declares, “Get knowledge of the spine, for this is the requisite for many diseases”. Evidence of manual manipulation of the body has been found among the ancient civilizations of Egypt, Babylon, Syria, Japan, the Incas, Mayans and Native Americans.
The official beginning of the chiropractic profession dates back to 1895 when Daniel David Palmer discovered its benefits. Two years later, in 1897, Dr. Palmer went on to begin the Palmer School of Chiropractic in Davenport, Iowa, which continues to train doctors of chiropractic to this day.
Over the last few decades, the profession of chiropractic has gained considerable recognition and scientific support. Further validation of chiropractic emerged in 1990 when a federal court judge ruled in favor of Chiropractic after an antitrust suit was filed by four members of the chiropractic profession against the American Medical Association (Wilk et al v. AMA et al, No.90-542, October 1990). As a result of this case, the playing field was leveled between Chiropractic and a number of other medical organizations in the United States.
Recently, The Consumer Reports conducted an unbiased, national survey and released the results of more than 14,000 Americans on April 6, 2009. The survey rated Doctors of Chiropractic (DC) as the top practitioner for treatment of back pain, with survey respondents noting that they were “highly satisfied” with the care received from their DC (59 percent), more than any other health care provider. Please visit www.consumerreports.com for more information.