Chiropractics has a long and colourful history. From its beginnings in the hands of a Magnetic Healer called DD Palmer, the profession defended itself against the established and aggressive medical model by being a maverick almost evangelic group.

Today in Australia, Chiropractic is taught in the university system and has been legislated in parliament since 1978. Chiropractic students spend 5 years and thousands of hours studying anatomy, physiology, biomechanics, pathology, diagnosis and a variety of treatment modalities.

Today’s Chiropractor should be…

  • competent in all aspects of musculoskeletal medicine.
  • not just rely on antiquated philosophical ideals and the ‘power of the spinal adjustment’.
  • be up to date with the current research and best evidence.
  • have an understanding that successful patient management requires a consideration of nutrition, lifestyle factors such as exercise and ergonomics, specific exercise prescription, patient psychology, strapping and bracing and many other factors…
  • try to be integrated with the generalised health care system

In 2005, the ‘chiropractic subluxation’ was defined by the World Health Organisation as “a lesion or dysfunction in a joint or motion segment in which alignment, movement integrity and/or physiological function are altered, although contact between joint surfaces remains intact. It is essentially a functional entity, which may influence biomechanical and neural integrity.”

Unfortunately the Chiropractic term SUBLUXATION is a historical artifact and has created large amounts of confusion with other healthcare professionals. The medical profession use it to describe something less than a dislocation.

Chiropractor have historically and often falsely use it to describe a distortion of the spine which can have a major health consequences via interferring with the nervous system.

At this Clinic and from the majority of evidence base Chiropractors you will hear terms like Dysfunction, Locking etc to describe where a spinal segment may lose part of it’s normal motion, which can involve changes in muscular tone, cause ligamentous stress, regional inflammatory changes and potential nervous system changes.

Historical Philosophy and basic theories of chiropractic

Although spinal manipulation dates back to Hippocrates and the ancient Greek physicians, the discovery of chiropractic is attributed to D.D. Palmer in 1895, with the first school for the training of chiropractors commencing in the USA in Davenport, Iowa in 1897.

Palmer developed the chiropractic theory and method from a variety of sources, including medical manipulation, bone-setting and osteopathy, as well as incorporating unique aspects of his own design.

The term “chiropractic”, derived from Greek roots to mean “done by hand”, originated with Palmer and was coined by a patient, the Reverend Samuel H. Weed.

Chiropractic developed in the US during a period of significant reformation in medical training and practice. At the time, there was a great variety of treatment options, both within conventional medicine and among innumerable other alternative health care approaches.

Chiropractic is a health care profession concerned with the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of disorders of the neuromusculoskeletal system and the potential effects of these disorders on general health.

There is an emphasis on manual techniques, including joint adjustment and/or manipulation, with a particular focus on the subluxation complex.

The relationship between structure, especially the spine and musculoskeletal system, and function, especially as coordinated by the nervous system, is central to chiropractic and its approach to the restoration and preservation of health.

It is hypothesized that significant neurophysiological consequences may occur as a result of mechanical spinal functional disturbances, described by chiropractors as the vertebral subluxation complex.

Chiropractic practice emphasizes the conservative management of the neuromusculoskeletal system. Biopsychosocial causes and consequences are also significant factors in management of the patient.

As primary‐contact health care practitioners, chiropractors recognise the importance of referring to other health care providers when it is in the best interests of the patient.