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A Brief History of Chiropractic Medicine

You might be familiar with the popping and cracking sounds that accompany your favorite spinal adjustment—and the immediate relief it provides—but do you know the history behind chiropractic medicine in Naples, FL? Starting in the late 19th century, chiropractic adjustments have been used to provide pain relief and improve mobility and function. Read on to learn more about this holistic, complementary practice.


In 1895, Daniel David Palmer noticed that local janitor Henry Lillard—who was working without a shirt on—had a vertebra out of place. When he asked what happened, Lillard told him that he had moved the wrong way 17 years prior, heard his back pop and partially lost his hearing as a result. Palmer immediately had Lillard lie on the ground, and performed a spinal adjustment to get the vertebra back into place. Lillard’s hearing returned. In fact, he commented that he could now “hear that racket” on the streets outside.

Palmer expanded upon the study of osteopathy, claiming that chiropractic adjustments could provide pain relief without drugs. In the early years, osteopaths sought to differentiate themselves from chiropractors and outlaw the practice. Some chiropractors were even jailed for performing adjustments, including Daniel David Palmer himself.

In response, chiropractors sought to be recognized in all 50 states. This process spanned from 1913 to 1974—Kansas was the first state to license chiropractors, and Louisiana was the last.


Chiropractic medicine has a history of being discounted, at least in America. In the early 1960s, the American Medical Association attempted to eliminate chiropractic treatment. Luckily, they were not successful, although many medical doctors still discount chiropractic care to this day.

The 1970s brought about a National Institutes of Health conference with chiropractors, medical doctors, osteopaths and PhDs, designed to bring together professionals of all backgrounds to study spinal manipulation and its effects. Later in the decade, the first academic chiropractic journal was launched, giving further credence to the practice.


Today, there is an increased emphasis on the science behind chiropractic care, with a focus on the musculoskeletal system. By the 1990s, scholarly interest in chiropractic adjustments had increased, which led to establishing clinical guidelines, and increased medical acceptance.

Not every medical doctor believes chiropractic care is helpful. However, given the licensing regulations, educational requirements and increased interest in learning more about the practice, it is more widely accepted than it was 100 years ago.


Chiropractic treatments are safe, non-invasive and drug-free. In fact, people who visit chiropractors soon after sustaining injuries are significantly less likely to need surgeries, and they save up to 20 percent on their medical bills. These gentle spinal adjustments can make a huge difference in your recovery.

If you’re thinking about visiting a chiropractor, there’s no time like the present. Reach out to Hiler Chiropractic & Neurology today to learn more about our services and schedule an appointment. We look forward to helping you feel your best!

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