Health & Medical

A Brief History of Chiropractic

Chiropractic History
Written by Nancy

The word ‘Chiropractic’ was coined by Daniel David Palmer, and is the Greek word for cheir (hand) and praktos (done), meaning done by hand.

Palmer had an extensive interest about researching natural and less invasive forms of healing for whole body wellness. He performed the first chiropractic adjustment on a janitor, who had lost his ability to hear after he heard a pop sound coming from his body.

Palmer examined his body and saw that a vertebra was out of place. He made the janitor lie face down and performed a manual manipulation of the spine. The next day, the janitor claimed to have regained his ability to hear.

After 2 years of extensive research, Palmer opened his school, ‘Palmer School of Cure’ to teach others the wonders of his treatment. The school aroused the interest of many individuals, who went on to become students and later chiropractic practitioners.  The school is still operational today as Palmer College of Chiropractic, and provides professional training in the field.


Kansas was the first State to start giving out licenses for chiropractic practice in 1913. After 18 years, 39 States had come on board with Kansas, while Louisiana being the last State in 1974. There are currently 77,000 chiropractic licenses in the United States.

The Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico recognize chiropractic as a legitimate health care profession. Countries such as Australia, Switzerland, Japan, Britain, Mexico and Canada also recognize chiropractic practice and have certain laws in place for its regulation.


Initially, chiropractic wasn’t well received from many health institutions. In 1987, the American Medical Association even filed a case against chiropractic practice to make it illegal. The AMA lost the case, after which chiropractic got worldwide acceptance.

Chiropractic today is very popular due to its holistic approach. 35 million Americans, including children, visit a chiropractor every year. Almost 10,000 students are enrolled to become licensed chiropractors in 18 accredited institutions.


Chiropractic has changed the landscape of health care.

The idea behind chiropractic is that once the structure of the body (mainly the spine) is properly aligned, the body starts to heal itself naturally.

The benefits of chiropractic adjustment are not reduced to proper posture and alignment. They also include:

  • Relief from back, neck, joint pain and arthritis
  • Cures migraines and headaches
  • Controlling the blood pressure
  • Improved mental clarity
  • Improved bowel function
  • Cure infections
  • Helps during pregnancy

Chiropractic continues to grow as more and more techniques are being designed by chiropractors. A chiropractor Frankfort KY clinic, Shelby County Chiropractic headed by Dr. James Stapleton, D.C., offers 15 different types of chiropractic services. You can visit their website to learn more about the different techniques.

Since its discovery, chiropractic has shown rapid advancement and the same can be expected in the future.

About the author



I’m Nancy and no, I didn’t always look like I do in that picture on the right. My foray into health and fitness began as a brace-faced, 16 year-old who was too afraid to wear a two-piece at the beach because I felt my body paled in comparison to my much more toned friends.

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