“There is a vast difference between treating effects and adjusting the causes.” D.D. Palmer, founder of Chiropractic.
It’s no secret that Chiropractors have gotten a bad rap. And if you’ve ever had a conversation in mixed company about the history of Chiropractic care, chances are you’ve heard some interesting stories.
How did chiropractic begin?
The inception of chiropractic care is credited to a Canadian American gentleman named D.D. Palmer. His beliefs were not widely accepted, as he did not advocate mainstream medicine. His interests were in alternative healing methods such as hydrotherapy, cranial manipulation, and magnetic healing. He believed in the body’s innate ability to heal and that healing power was transmitted via the nervous system. Palmer was a bit of a renaissance man. He was a teacher in early adulthood. He raised bees and also owned a grocery store. But the most controversial aspect of his life was his involvement with spiritualism. He claimed that what sparked his initial interest in chiropractic treatment was at a seance.
It is easy to see why Palmer was not taken seriously by the mainstream establishment at the turn of the 20th century when there was much less awareness than there is today of the many pitfalls and tragedies of conventional medicine.
However, he did not let the ridicule dampen his enthusiasm for the body’s healing capacity or the effectiveness of chiropractic treatment. He opened The Palmer School of Chiropractic in Davenport, Iowa, in 1897. During the early 1900s, the science of chiropractic treatment continued to grow and evolve. Chiropractors began forming professional societies, and the curriculum became standardized as more schools opened. Today there are almost 20 accredited chiropractic schools and over 70,000 licensed chiropractors in the U.S.
What are some of the proven benefits of chiropractic care?
It’s easy to see that chiropractic treatment has something valuable to offer. That is attested to by the millions of people who have gotten relief through chiropractic care that they could not get with surgery, medications, or other mainstream treatment options.
Chiropractic philosophy and treatment are still alive and thriving for a straightforward reason--they work!
Studies have shown that spinal manipulation therapy increases strength and endurance and is as or more effective at relieving low back pain than non-steroidal inflammatory drugs. It also decreases the need for opioids. Chiropractic treatment is often more effective and less risky than medications, injections, and surgeries.
While modern professional chiropractors do not believe ALL problems can be solved through spinal manipulation and other therapies we are trained in, we are vastly adept at treating numerous conditions related to the muscles, bones, cartilage, connective tissue (i.e., tendons and ligaments), and nervous system.
And since every nerve in the body is within the spinal column, innumerable illnesses can potentially be treated and symptoms alleviated by a knowledgeable and experienced chiropractor.
Some of the many other unexpected positive effects of chiropractic care include:
- Relief from a sports injury
- Improved immune function
- Resolution of chronic ear infections
- Headache relief
- Asthma relief
- More energy
- Lower blood pressure
- Better balance
- Better sleep
- Improved range of motion
- Healthier pregnancy
- Improved digestion
So, why do some people still think chiropractors are dangerous?
It is perhaps, at least to some degree, a ripple effect of Palmer’s legacy. It may also arise from the misconceived notion that chiropractors are not doctors, which is not true! While chiropractors are not Medical Doctors, they are Doctors of Chiropractic. Chiropractic education is comprehensive, often requiring more hours than an M.D. degree.
According to the American Chiropractic Association, “Chiropractic is a regulated healthcare profession in the United States and has been for more than 100 years. Before being granted a license to practice, doctors of chiropractic (DCs) must meet stringent educational and competency standards set forth by the National Board of Chiropractic Examiners and individual states. Kansas was the first state to license chiropractic in 1913. Today, all 50 U.S. states, the District of Columbia, all U.S. territories, and more than 40 countries worldwide license chiropractors.”
Another reason for the misconceptions about chiropractic care may come from the little-known fact that the American Medical Association (and most M.D.s) considered chiropractic an “unscientific cult” for most of its existence. In fact, the AMA had a quackery committee established to discredit chiropractors until 1974.
(If you’ve done any research on the AMA, you are aware that this is what they do to influential individuals, teachings, and disciplines that threaten their establishment by providing effective services and solutions that do not fall within their narrow scope of possible treatments).
Chiropractic treatment, however, was here to stay.
Things changed when five chiropractors sued the AMA in 1976. The chiropractors lost in the first trial but appealed and were granted a second trial due to “improper jury instructions” and “admission of irrelevant and prejudicial evidence.”
The chiropractors were victorious in the second trial, where even one of the AMA’s witnesses asserted that “chiropractors outperformed medical physicians in the treatment of certain conditions.” The U.S. Court of Appeals affirmed this district court ruling in 1990, and the U.S. Supreme Court subsequently denied the AMA’s attempts to appeal three times. The AMA now acknowledges the legitimacy of chiropractic treatment and permits medical doctors to refer their patients for chiropractic care where necessary and appropriate.
If you’re interested in addressing the root of your issue as quickly, effectively, and uninvasively as possible (and not just treating the symptoms). In that case, we’re here to help at Advanced Alignment. We don’t just want you to feel better; we want you to function better. Even better than you were before you started experiencing symptoms. That’s because we believe getting people out of pain and back into the game of life is neutral at best. But returning them with an enhanced skill set and upgraded performance is invaluable!
Chiropractic philosophy and treatment have gotten a bad rap over the years. In our assessment, this is due to a couple of crucial factors. One is that the father of chiropractic was somewhat eccentric and unconventional. The other is that chiropractors were targeted by the American Medical Association and labeled as quacks until they lost a court case against five chiropractors in the late 1980s.
Today, chiropractic treatment continues to gain notoriety and validity as it has proven to safely and effectively treat a long list of ailments that have not been successfully treated in mainstream medicine.
Here at Advanced Alignment, we aim to get you feeling better with a minimally invasive approach that addresses the root cause of your issue, not just the symptoms.