We are living in the dark ages of back and spine health. Experts around the world estimate that a staggering 80% of the global population has suffered or will suffer from discomfort in their backs at some point in their lives. Half of all working Americans admit to having symptoms of back discomfort every year, making it one of the most common reasons they miss work. It's the third most common reason that people go to the doctor and costs Americans an estimated $100 billion a year.
With plenty of pain to go around, doctors have been quick to prescribe dangerous and highly-potent opiates in hopes of giving their patients some relief. These drugs are extremely effective in relieving pain but are abused by over 1 in 5 patients. 1 in every 10 patients prescribed prescription opiates will develop an opioid use disorder, and 130 Americans lose their lives every day from opioid overdoses.
Knowing this, more and more people suffering from discomfort in their backs are turning to safer, non-chemical pain-relieving solutions like chiropractic care. Spine-health defines a chiropractor as, "a health care professional focused on the diagnosis and treatment of neuromuscular disorders, with an emphasis on treatment through manual adjustment and/or manipulation of the spine."
Chiropractic care operates on the theory that the structural derangement of the spine can have wide-reaching implications on seemingly unrelated bodily functions. It has yielded great results for individuals with moderate discomfort in their backs.
Though chiropractic care may seem ancient due to its holistic nature, it is a relatively new form of treatment.
The Story of Chiropractic
The first ever Chiropractor was Canadian Daniel David Palmer who, in 1895, performed the first-ever chiropractic adjustment on a borderline-deaf Janitor named Harvey Lillard. Lillard explained to Palmer that seconds before he lost his hearing, he heard a “pop” in his back. Palmer, a self-educated healer familiar with healing philosophies of the time, swore that the event in Lillard’s back was connected to his loss of hearing.
Palmer had Lillard lay face down on a flat surface, where he discovered that one of his vertebrae was misaligned. He applied pressure, popped it back into place, and something strange is said to have happened: his hearing was restored. In 1897, Palmer established the first school of chiropractic education - The Palmer School of Chiropractic - in Iowa. In 1913, Kansas became the first U.S. state to recognize chiropractic licenses. 50 years later, the U.S. National Board of Chiropractic Examiners was established to create a uniform federal system for chiropractic licensing.
By 1974, licensing was required to practice chiropractic care in all 50 states and in countries around the world! The World Chiropractic Federation estimates that there are roughly 100,000 practicing Chiropractors in the world today.
Fun Facts about Chiropractic:
- The word “Chiropractor” is derived from the Greek words “cheir” and “praktos," roughly translating to “done by hand.”
- The first non-North American country to license the practice of chiropractic care was Switzerland in 1939.
- There is much controversy surrounding the story of D.D. Palmer curing the deaf Harvey Lillard. Lillard’s daughter asserted soon after that, while her father was hard of hearing, he was far from deaf.
- In 2002, the 107th U.S. Congress voted to fund chiropractic care for military members and veterans.
- U.S. workers who itemize their deductions can deduct the cost of chiropractic care from their taxes.
More on National Chiropractic Month:
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