The History and Science of Chiropractic Care

by | Jul 6, 2017 | Chiropractor


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The term chiropractic has roots in Greek. It is a combination of the term for hand (cheir) and practice (praxic). Chiropractic care is the act of spinal manipulation (often with the hands) in order to relieve pain. It can be helpful for back and neck pain, joint pain, and chronic headaches. Below is a brief history and science of chiropractic care.


Chiropractic care as we know it today originated in the 1800s. It was first discovered by Dr. David Palmer, a self-educated teacher and healer.

Dr. Palmer’s first chiropractic patient, Harvey Lillard, had lost his hearing after feeling a “pop” in his back years before. Dr. Palmer examined Lillard’s spine and found a misaligned vertebra. He was certain that this was related to his patient’s deafness. Palmer manipulated Lillard’s spine, now known as a chiropractic adjustment, and Lillard’s hearing was restored! Today chiropractic treatment is used to treat migraines, headaches, stomach issues, and more.


For many years, chiropractic care was considered a pseudo-science and was not covered by health insurance. As time went on the benefits of chiropractic became more widely accepted. Understanding the science of chiropractic care is invaluable if you are looking for chiropractic in the Loop.

Despite the therapy’s controversy, in 2010 a review of the scientific evidence regarding manual therapies that included spinal manipulation concluded that it may indeed be helpful for conditions such as back pain, migraines, conditions related to whiplash, and much more. The treatment carries a handful of minor side effects, including minor temporary discomfort in the areas treated.

While skeptics of chiropractic care tout evidence of serious side-effects (such as stroke), studies in both 2007 and 2009 found the risks of serious side effect to be “very low” and found no evidence that the risk was increased by chiropractic care vs. visiting their primary care provider. For many, the benefits of treatment far outweigh the associated risks involved.

If you’re seeking chiropractic in the Loop, contact Chicago Chiropractic & Sports Injury Centers. Reach them online at

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