Chiropractic comes from the Greek word Chiropraktikos, meaning “effective treatment by hand.”
Chiropractic care focuses on problems with the musculoskeletal system and nervous system, and the effects these problems impose on general health. Chiropractic care is used most often to treat neck and back pain, pain in the joints of the arms and legs and headaches.
The most common therapeutic procedure performed by doctors of chiropractic is known as “spinal manipulation,” also called “chiropractic adjustment.” The purpose of manipulation is to restore joint mobility by manually applying a controlled force into joints that have become hypomobile – or restricted in their movement – as a result of a tissue injury. Tissue injury can be caused by a single traumatic event, such as improper lifting of a heavy object, or through repetitive stresses, such as sitting in an awkward position with poor spinal posture for an extended period of time. In either case, injured tissues undergo physical and chemical changes that can cause inflammation, pain, and diminished function for the sufferer. Manipulation, or adjustment of the affected joint and tissues, restores mobility, thereby alleviating pain and muscle tightness, and allowing tissues to heal.
Chiropractic was founded in 1895 by Daniel David Palmer in Davenport, Iowa. Palmer believed that chiropractic adjustments to the spine could cure disease. Harvey Lillard, a worker in a building where Palmer’s office was located was Palmer’s first chiropractic patient. Lillard suffered from hearing loss for nearly 20 years, which began soon after he felt a “pop” in his spine. Palmer adjusted Lillard’s spine and a few days later, Lillard claimed his hearing was restored.