Chiropractic care has been around longer than most people think. The ancient Chinese were aware of the value of manipulating the lower extremities to alleviate back pain in 2450 BC, and the Greeks showed an awareness of this technique as early as 1200 BC. Hippocrates, of Hippocratic Oath fame, was a Greek physician who lived four centuries before Jesus Christ. He embraced the teachings of the ancients and advised, "Know ye the spine, for in it lies the causes of many disorders."
It would be 22 centuries later that Americans were first made aware of the value of spinal manipulation. In the late nineteenth century, an Iowa man born of farmers, Daniel David Palmer, accidentally hit upon a technique that had by the end of the twentieth century changed the life of millions. Palmer's procedure involved what is widely known today as spinal manipulation, which is the adjustment or maneuvering of the spinal column to give the body a better ability to cure itself--a practice today known as "chiropractic." The very first school of chiropractic was established by Palmer in 1897; it later became the Palmer School of Chiropractic, and today Palmer Schools of Chiropractic are among the most respected chiropractic colleges in the nation.
Chiropractic care is non-invasive care, based on solid scientific approaches to a wide variety of ailments. Doctors of Chiropractic complete four years of intensive study at accredited chiropractic college. During those four years they spend more than an 1000 hours a year in the classroom and laboratory, for a total educational experience of about 4000 hours instruction in the structure, functions, and diseases of the human body, including anatomy, human dissection, biochemistry, and physiology, radiology, and various therapeutic techniques.
About 600 of these hours are spent learning about the various spinal adjustment techniques. It is this spinal adjustment that makes the chiropractor unique in the medical field. Medical doctors generally do not receive any training whatsoever in spinal manipulation.
The chiropractic profession is driven by a fundamental belief and trust in natural and conservative methods of health care. Doctors of chiropractic believe that the human body can cure itself in most instances of disorder, thus obviating the need for surgery or drugs. A Doctor of Chiropractic is one who is involved in a total wellness approach to patient healthcare. Doctors of Chiropractic treat patients who have constant headaches, unremitting joint, neck, low back pain, sciatica, osteoarthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome, sprains, strains, and tendonitis, allergies, digestive disorders, asthma, and many other disorders.