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Syracuse Chiropractor, Chiropractor in Syracuse, NY

Brighton Hill Chiropractic, PC


"Helping You Reach Your Healthcare Goals For Life"

(315) 492-4060

The History of Chiropractic

The History of Chiropractic

Evidence of spinal manipulation (bone setting) as a health intervention dates back to the earliest history of man recorded on cave walls! Hippocrates (460 BC – 370 BC), who is referred to as The Father of Medicine, taught that the spine contributed to the health of an individual when he wrote “Get knowledge of the spine, for this is the requisite for many diseases.”

Modern day chiropractic as a distinct profession began around the turn of the 20th century. The first official "chiropractic adjustment" was given by Dr. Daniel David Palmer on September 18, 1895 to a hearing impaired janitor by the name of Harvey Lillard, who immediately experienced a significant improvement in his ability to hear.

Dr. Daniel David Palmer (also known as D.D. Palmer) was born in Canada in 1845 and was very interested in healing. He learned as much as he could from the available information of his time. He investigated a variety of disciplines of medical science during his lifetime, many of which were in their infancy. Besides having a day job as a grocer and fish market owner to support his family of six, Dr. Palmer opened his first office of magnetic healing in Burlington, Iowa in 1886.

Dr. Palmer was interested in finding the underlying cause of sickness. He studied regularly, late into the night, seeking to discover the "great secret" regarding health and disease. The first chiropractic adjustment he gave, in 1895, was performed on the janitor in his building, Harvey Lillard, who had lost his hearing 17 years previously. Mr. Lillard reported to Dr. Palmer that just before losing his hearing, he had strained his back and had heard a noise in his back. Suspecting that there could be a spinal misalignment, Dr. Palmer examined him and did find a vertebra out of line. Dr. Palmer adjusted the vertebra back into position and the man's hearing instantly improved.

This experience with Harvey Lillard helped bolster Dr. Palmer's theory that if the spine is aligned correctly, the nerve flow to all parts of the body will work correctly and, thus, the body will be healthy and free of disease. Dr. Palmer was excited to think that he may have discovered a cure for all sickness. He was so excited, in fact, that he hung a sheet out the window of his office for all the world to see, and printed on it that he had found the cure of all disease!

Criticism of this new healing technique came from many, especially within the medical community, as it did not involve the traditional medical theory of health. In many communities, chiropractors were repeatedly arrested for practicing medicine without a license.

In 1897, Dr. Palmer opened a chiropractic school in Davenport, Iowa, calling it the Palmer Infirmary and Chiropractic Institute. The name was later changed, in 1907, to Palmer School of Chiropractic. Enrollment at first was low, with only 24 students in 1906. Today there are over 20 chiropractic colleges, with enrollment of over 10,000 students, as a result of many others who followed in Dr. Palmer's footsteps, further developing chiropractic principles and education.

In the U.S. today, chiropractic is the largest alternative health care profession, and is the third largest doctored profession, behind medicine and dentistry. Satisfaction rates are typically higher for chiropractic care compared to medical care, with a 1998 U.S. survey reporting 83% of respondents satisfied or very satisfied with their chiropractic care.

"Chiropractic patients were three times more satisfied with their care than patients of family practice physicians." ~ Western Journal of Medicine, 1989

As research continues to show the benefits, effectiveness, cost savings and patient satisfaction associated with chiropractic care, chiropractors will continue to quietly and effectively serve the needs of growing numbers of patients around the globe.

For decades, chiropractic was discredited, made fun of and even referred to as quackery.  Less of this goes on today, but, unfortunately, misunderstanding and animosity still exists. Many people do not understand chiropractic and have believed negative propaganda they may have been exposed to. In fact, it wasn't until the early 1970s that insurance companies started to recognize irrefutable data indicating the cost and treatment effectiveness of chiropractic care. This soon led to limited spinal manipulation coverage by insurers.

In 1994, the US Department of Health and Human Services, Agency for Health Care Policy and Research (AHCPR) published clinical guidelines for Acute Low Back Pain. This independent panel of over 30 distinguished health care professionals found that, after an exhaustive review of all the research available on the subject of low back pain, spinal manipulation was found to be the most effective treatment for uncomplicated acute low back pain, compared to massage, physical therapy, and medical interventions.

In 2007 the American College of Physicians and The American Pain Society published low back pain guidelines stating that spinal manipulaiton was the ONLY treatment proven effective for uncomplicated low back pain in the acute stage, encouraging its usage for patients who do not respond to self-care measures.

Chiropractic care, spinal manipulation therapy, is evidence based and proven effective. Isn't it time for you to see what chiropractic care can do for you?

Come visit us at our Syracuse, NY location. Quality care provided by Chiropractor Carrie Goettsch and staff at our beautiful NY office.