People have been performing chiropractic care since as early as 2700 BC in China when the people of the region were working long days developing at the back-aching process to make silk fabrics.
Ancient Greeks in 1500 BC also used the medical technique, most likely to relieve men and women responsible for the labor involved to create wonders like Knossos, the largest, most elaborate palace of its time. Ancient texts from those times detail the practice of manipulating the spine and adjusting the lower extremities in an attempt to ease pain.
Greek physician Hippocrates was still publishing texts on the subject during his lifetime, between 460 BC and 357 BC, an era where most Greeks worked as farmers and in other labor-intensive careers to survive.
Those who couldn’t were forced into slavery, an equally back-aching position in society. It was during this time that Hippocrates stressed the importance of taking care of the spine and other areas of the body related to chiropractic care. In one of the texts he states it quite clearly, “Get knowledge of the spine, for this is the requisite for many diseases.”
Chiropractic Care in America
As with many things that got their start in other parts of the world, chiropractic care was slow arriving in the United States and did not make much of an appearance before the late 1890s.
In fact, the first chiropractic office to offer the practice of spinal manipulation did not open until 1895 when Daniel David Palmer began his practice in Davenport, Iowa. Already well-read in medical journals across the country, two years later he started the first ever school to teach others about the specialty care.
The Palmer College of Chiropractic, considered “The Fountainhead” due to the fact that it was the first school of its kind in the world, now has two more campus locations – located in Port Orange, Florida and San Jose, California, in addition to the original one in Davenport.
In the time since Dr. Palmer opened his school, chiropractic professionals have popped up in all fifty of the United States and is well supported by the general population.
Those looking to study and become a chiropractor can expect to take courses on topics such as health and disease through the major medical sciences which include but are not limited to anatomy with human dissection, biochemistry, and physiology. Even basic chiropractic curriculums require an in-depth study of the human body.
Doctors versus Non-Physician Providers
Chiropractic research has reshaped how doctors look at spine treatment, as well as other conditions including migraine headaches and chiropractic care after a car accident. In fact, a 1979 a report from New Zealand supported chiropractic care in conjunction with the medical community.
Today a chiropractor who holds the title of “doctor” can both diagnose and treat patients, but he is also responsible for promoting well-being and public health, as well as approaching the health of his patients with that same positive attitude. Non-physician providers often work under such titles as physical therapist.
Anyone suffering with complaints of a neuromusculoskeletal nature, like joint pain, sciatica, lower back pain, an aching neck, carpal tunnel syndrome, tendonitis, migraine headaches, sprains, or other spinal conditions, could benefit from the help of a chiropractor.
Something a lot of people do not know is that chiropractors can also treat non- neuromusculoskeletal conditions, like digestive disorders, asthma, and allergies.
A report in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics just over a decade ago quoted a statistic that, “Patients with chronic low-back pain treated by chiropractors showed greater improvement and satisfaction at one month than patients treated by family physicians.”
And the more research that is developed about chiropractic care, the more diverse the list of conditions it can support grows!
We are living in an age that has pioneered new methods of non-invasive healthcare. Chiropractic care is not only less invasive, but it is also more economical.
A 1993 study documented and published in Canada investigated whether or not chiropractic care was really that cost effective.
Their results stated that if more people would take advantage of visiting a chiropractor, then the care would potentially save as much as several hundred million dollars every year as far as health care costs, follow-up care, and disability payments are concerned from accidents such as car injuries, on the job mishaps, and other calamities.
Also, in 2003 the British Medical Journal reported that “total costs of the manual therapy-treated patients were about one-third of the costs of physiotherapy or general practitioner care.”