Chiropractic – More Than Just A Head And Back Pain Treatment

Staff Writer

Most people aren’t aware that the chiropractic profession has a very colorful 120-year-old history. In fact, many insist that “chiropractors” were performing spinal adjustments several hundred or thousand years ago. Granted, bone setting has been in recorded history for millennium, but what chiropractors do is a little different.

Did you know that the first chiropractic adjustment was given by a magnetic healer and performed on a half-deaf patient? Harvey Lillard came to D.D. Palmer with some health concerns and Palmer discovered that Lillard had lost hearing in one ear after being knocked on the side of the head in an accident. After evaluating the area in Lillard’s upper neck, Palmer discovered what chiropractors call a “vertebral subluxation” in his neck and popped the bone back in place. To both of their surprise, Lillard’s hearing immediately recovered and the chiropractic profession was born.


Lillard’s story is important because it lays the foundation of what the chiropractic profession is and what it is not. At its core, chiropractic is the detection and removal of vertebral subluxation. Defined by the Association of Chiropractic Colleges (ACC), a subluxation is “a complex of functional, structural, and/or pathological articular changes that compromise neural integrity and may influence organ system function and general health.” In other words, because the spine is the protective mechanism for most nerves that run throughout your body, if vertebrae are not lined up perfectly then the nervous system – and, subsequently, those cells and tissues affected by those nerves – will not function properly.

What that looks like for each individual is relative to their specific situation. Some may experience back pain, whereas others will suffer from high blood pressure. The various presentations are limitless. Once the subluxation is removed (or corrected), however, the vertebra resumes proper positioning in the spine and nerve function is restored and healing starts to occur throughout the body. The concept is similar to cutting your finger with a knife and immediately your body begins to repair and restore full function in that area.  Correcting a subluxation, however, has infinitely more impact on your overall health because every cell in your body is supplied by nerves that ultimately pass through your spine.

The Far-Reaching Effects of Vertebral Subluxation

According to peer-reviewed literature, subluxation-based chiropractic care may be related to correcting a plethora of diseases. Notably, chiropractic care has been linked to reducing someone’s risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD). Specifically, removing vertebral subluxations has been proven to reduce inflammation, elevated stress, and a slew of other known factors linked to CVD such as the following:

  • Blood pressure/anxiety
  • Enhanced immune response(s)
  • Heart Rate Variability
  • Dysrhythmic abnormalities
  • Duodenal Ulcers
  • Muscle tension
  • Overall increased bodily function (objectively and subjectively observed)
  • Neurocognitive function
  • Dysmenorrhea
  • Pulmonary function
  • Decreased labor times for primigravidae and multiparous pregnancies

Various mechanisms have been suggested and further research is needed to substantiate these findings as they are comparably few in light of the tome of medical articles in the literature. Nevertheless, we see an indelible and undeniable link exists between chiropractic’s proven efficacy in treating inflammation and stress and decreasing risk of CVD.

If you suffer from any of the conditions above, consider going to a subluxtion-based chiropractor. By working with your primary care physician, the chiropractor will be able to help you live the healthiest life possible.

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