History of Chiropractic

The history of chiropractic care in the United States goes back to the late 19th century with its founder Daniel David Palmer. The word “chiropractic” comes from the Greek words cheir (“hand”) and praktos (“done”) – thus resulting the meaning “done by hand”. DD Palmer was aware that spinal manipulation had been performed for hundreds of years, yet no one had scientific evidence or a solid understanding of how it worked. Palmer harnessed his extensive knowledge in physiology and anatomy to build a foundation for chiropractic and ultimately developed it into a respected health care profession.

 In 1897, Palmer established the Palmer College of Chiropractic in Davenport, Iowa. It still remains one of the most prestigious chiropractic schools in the nation. Early chiropractic was similar to that of osteopathy and many chiropractors were criticized for practicing medicine without a license. In 1906, DD Palmer’s son, BJ Palmer took control of the school. He incorporated the use of technology such as X-rays into chiropractic.

As the profession grew, there became a distinct separation between chiropractors that labeled themselves as “straights” (practiced only spinal manipulations) and those that regarded themselves as “mixers” (practiced spinal manipulations with other forms of treatments). This conflict between “straights” and “mixers” continues to this day.

In 1913, the first state law licensing chiropractors was passed and 39 other states followed soon after. Today, all 50 states, Puerto Rico, and the United States Virgin Islands recognize chiropractic as a health profession. There are over 60,000 licensed chiropractors in the United States.

Dr. Cris Barkmeier, DC is a licensed chiropractor in Orange County, CA and provides professional, attentive, and chiropractic services for all residents in the OC. He uses a combination of spinal adjustments, massage, and active release therapy to treat a variety of injuries and conditions in his patients.