In September of 1895 in Davenport, Iowa the first chiropractic adjustment was delivered to William Harvey Lillard by D.D. Palmer. As we understand it, D.D. Palmer was a magnetic healer who had explored a variety of health sciences throughout his lifetime. Mr. Lillard was a janitor who happened to tell Palmer that his hearing was greatly reduced after a spine injury some years earlier. Upon examination, Palmer found a "bump" or lump between the shoulder blades of Mr. Lillard. After "racking" the vertebrae back into position Mr. Lillard experienced a great improvement in his hearing.
The first adjustment was given not for back pain, but for a systemic manifestation of a vertebral (and ultimately nervous system) injury. In many ways this first adjustment was the beginning of a great chasm within chiropractic care. Do we provide care for the spine, the body organs/systems, or perhaps, even both?
It is my opinion that chiropractic is the greatest, drugless, conservative health care profession which has ever been discovered. D.D. Palmer may not have been able to truly grasp the breath and depth of his accomplishment. Over 100 years later, we have been able to stand on the back of giants such as D.D., B.J., Barge, Gonstead, Thompson, Gold, etc.. Our profession at its most basic level is the most effective, safe, and cost-effective healthcare option for neuromusculoskeletal complaints. But, perhaps as research continues to advance, we will be noted for achievements of even greater significance.
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