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History Of Chiropractic Care | Timeline Of Events & Milestones

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As treatments and medications come out with unfavorable side effects, more people are turning to natural healing methods. One common natural healing method is chiropractic care. Chiropractors are very popular because they can provide musculoskeletal treatments that average medical doctors can't. While many believe chiropractic care is an ancient technique, it's not as old as you may think. Here is a history on how chiropractic care began, along with some major milestones it has achieved.

Daniel Palmer—1895

In 1895, Daniel Palmer began to claim that he could heal people with nothing more than his hands. He called himself a Chiropractor and said that his techniques could heal virtually any disease that someone could have. A deaf man named Harvey Lillard sought out Daniel Palmer. He wanted Palmer to adjust him so he could hear again. He said he lost is hearing many years beforehand. When it happened, he bent over and felt a pop in his back. After the crack, he could barely hear anything. Once Palmer adjusted Lillard, Lillard was no longer deaf and the profession officially had a foundation.

Palmer School—1905

In 1905, Daniel Palmer established the Palmer School of Chiropractic. When the school opened, it was mostly filled with doctors who wanted to learn a new healing technique. Together, Palmer and his students perfected Palmer's techniques and discovered new ones as well.


In Davenport, Iowa, the Universal Chiropractors' Association was founded. The goal of the UCA was to provide legal services to chiropractors if anyone were to try to charge them with malpractice suits.

Palmer's Book—1910

Daniel Palmer wrote and released a book called The Chiropractor's Adjuster: The Science, Art & Philosophy of Chiropractic. He wrote several books, but this was his most famous publication. Chiropractors to date still read it to obtain his knowledge.

Chiropractic Students Increase—1918

As WWI came to an end, the government paid for the returning veterans to attend college. As chiropractic care increased in popularity, many veterans enrolled into the Palmer School of Chiropractic. The student body increased to a whopping 3,000.

Neurocalometer Is Introduced—1924

Daniel Palmer's son B.J. Palmer introduced the neurocalometer in 1924. The device was about the size of a compass with a small meter on the front. The device was said to detect variations of heat in the spinal column, which would indicate dislocations in the vertebrae.

Full Spine X-ray Invented—1933

In New York City, a full spine x-ray was introduced. The x-ray allowed people to stand upright while their spine was x-rayed. The x-ray measured 14 inches wide and 36 inches tall. This allowed the chiropractors to view the natural curvature of people's spines as they stand.

Battle Over Standards—1940

Education standards are important in every educational institute. Since chiropractic students were basically inventing methods with teachers as everyone went along, there had been no educational standards for chiropractic. By the 40's, there was a founded science and art with several techniques to teach to students. In 1940, a 30-year war on educational standards for chiropractic care began. It didn't end until the U.S. Office of Education finally recognized chiropractic as one of its own, and made the decisions itself in 1974.

As time went on, more institutes were founded in the name of chiropractic care. More methods were developed, and research into chiropractic care increased. Today, there are skilled chiropractors in every town. They treat a variety of conditions such as:

  • Neck pain
  • Back pain
  • Joint pain
  • Ear infections
  • Asthma
  • Headaches

If you have an ailment that your doctor can't seem to treat, a chiropractor may be able to help. Since the first chiropractor brought a man's hearing back in 1895, chiropractors have been treating chronic conditions without the use medications and surgeries. If you have more questions, you can click here for more information.