The practice of chiropractic is credited to D.D. Palmer during the mid1890s. D.D. Palmerís son, B.J. Palmer, further developed the practice through research and clinical practice. Although the Palmers are known as the founders of current chiropractic care, adjustments have been used for thousands of years. B.J. Palmer established the first chiropractic school in Davenport, Iowa, known as Palmer Chiropractic College.
Chiropractic is defined as ‘that science and art which utilizes the inherent recuperative powers of the body and deals with the relationship between the nervous system and the spinal column, including its immediate articulations, and the role of this relationship in the restoration and maintenance of health’. Since all functions of the body are innervated and controlled by nerves, the implications of chiropractic care in health management is enormous. Not only can chiropractic therapy treat a stiff neck or back pain, it may be useful in many systemic and metabolic disorders.
Chiropractic therapy is directed at the release of fixations and subluxations of the spine. The term subluxation is used to describe a misaligned vertebrae, which is unable to properly move in relation to an adjacent vertebrae. This can be either a structural or functional malalignment, which may not be obvious on radiograph or conventional physical examination. These subluxations are corrected by a precise manipulation of the spine known as an adjustment. An adjustment involves the application of a high velocity, low amplitude manual force to release fixations without damage to the motor unit. A motor unit is defined as two adjacent vertebrae and the associated structures between them, including ligaments, blood vessels, nerves, joints and muscles. The adjustment must be specific in regards to the force and angle applied to the specific vertebral joint.