History of Chiropractic Care

“Get knowledge of the spine, for this is the requisite for many diseases.” These words are attributed to Hippocrates, known as the Father of Medicine among Western cultures. Although Hippocrates lived from 460–370 B.C. in Greece, this underlying philosophy carries through to modern chiropractic care.

Ancient Beginnings

Health care practices that focus on the spine did not start with Hippocrates. The ancient origins of chiropractic care are evidenced in medical texts dating to around 2700 B.C. and 1500 B.C. in China and Greece. These texts detail spinal manipulation and are among some of the earliest writings in recorded history.

In fact, “bone setting” is linked to the development of both chiropractic care and osteopathy. This holistic practice is one of the five traditional Chinese medicine treatments, and those who practiced it were known as “bone setters.” A medical text known as the Edwin Smith papyrus of 1552 B.C. provides evidence that bone setting was a practice in Ancient Egypt as well.

The philosophy behind bone setting is that injuries in the skeletal frame need to be set straight in order to return the body to its natural order so it can heal properly. This practice extended well into the 18th century in Great Britain with families who passed the healing art from one generation to the next. However, as medicine modernized, bone setters struggled to be awarded the same status as medical physicians.

Chiropractic Philosophy

The ancient philosophical roots of chiropractic suggest that disturbances in the body’s natural order contribute to disease. What separates chiropractic care from standard medical solutions to disease is that chiropractors retain the foundational idea that the body is self-sufficient. Therefore, it is believed that if the body is restored to its optimal state, it can begin to heal itself without unnatural medical interventions.

Chiropractic offers natural solutions to recurring problems that are a result of environmental stress or injuries. This outlook stands in contrast to standard medical care solutions that turn to pain-relieving drugs or invasive surgeries.

The Foundation of Modern Chiropractic Care

History of chiropractic.

It wasn’t until 1895 that the term “chiropractic” arrived in circulation among public and medical communities. It’s derived from the Greek words cheir (hand) and praktos (done), or “done by hand.” Daniel David Palmer, the founder of chiropractic care in North America, coined the term and is also credited with developing the healing art’s first solution to an ailment in modern times.

D.D. Palmer believed that the body had a natural ability to heal itself and that some conditions were the result of a lack of or disorder in nerve supply to the affected region. Palmer advanced the idea of spinal misalignment, or “subluxation,” and devised a modern procedure for a spinal adjustment. He performed an adjustment on a partially deaf patient in 1895 and was lauded for having lessened the severity of the man’s deafness.

When the potential merits of chiropractic were realized, Palmer founded the Palmer School of Cure in 1897 in Iowa. This later became the Palmer School of Chiropractic as the first school of chiropractic care in the world. It is now one of 46 accredited schools of chiropractic across the globe today.

From Shaky Ground to a Secure Future

From the 1960s until around 1980, the American Medical Association (AMA) disparaged the chiropractic profession, claiming it was unscientific. It took a federal antitrust court decision in 1987 to overturn an AMA effort to contain and eliminate the practice of chiropractic. But as chiropractic care gained in popularity among patients who experienced positive results, this controversy gave way to a new era of collaboration between chiropractors and standard medical practitioners.

As chiropractic schools have continued to spring up around the world with a core curriculum as rigorous as that of standard medical schools, chiropractic practitioners have continued to adopt diverse approaches to caring for disorders of the spine and muscles—without invasive surgery or potentially addicting medications. The past several decades have seen a growth in communication and collaborative research efforts between chiropractors and medical doctors, and chiropractic has been accepted in the medical community and recognized by several international guidelines as a beneficial treatment for many musculoskeletal conditions. VA hospitals and other medical facilities have started to incorporate chiropractors as part of their health care team. Research studies continue to underscore the safety and effectiveness of chiropractic treatment for a variety of disorders, and the chiropractic profession is recognized today as a valid first-line treatment option for many health conditions.

Reviews By Our Satisfied Patients

  • "I've been coming to see Dr. Bob since 1984 for my back pain. After each visit, the vast improvement lasts about one whole month. Even after all these years, Dr. Bob continues to provide outstanding care for me, my children, and my grandchildren. I've referred several people to HealthWise Chiropractic, so they too can see the results I have. My favorite part of my visits is the friendliness and professionalism of the staff and doctors and, of course, the results I get that improve my daily living."
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  • "About ten years ago I was at the gym, I bent over and couldn't get up, the pain was horrible. I contacted Healthwise and Dr. Mike gave me an emergency appointment that evening. He did a complete physical and x-ray before he started any treatment. After my first treatment I was able to stand up and walk with minimal pain. With a few visits I was back to normal. I continued treatments as needed for the next several years.
    I see Dr. Bob regularly to stay fit and pain-free. He tests my strength and weakness to determine the best treatment. Our open discussion led him to help my acid reflux. I now exercise and walk as is essential for a septuagenarian.
    I told Dr. Bob that I was starting to get knee pain that I thought was arthritis; I didn't think chiropractic care could help. He told me about new equipment to help. I look forward to improvement.
    I was a skeptic of chiropractic care, now I would recommend HealthWise to anyone with chronic/simple pain. It worked for me. It can work for you!"
    Sherry B.
  • "I was very miserable with constant pain in my leg while knowing it had something to do with my back. My friend surprised me with an appointment with Dr. Bob. After being treated by Dr. Bob I knew right away it was exactly what I needed. I learned a lot through my conversations with the doctor. I am really thankful to Dr. Bob and his staff."
    Ed L.
  • "I had a very limited understanding of chiropractic care until I tried it for the first time 12 years ago. I came in with severe pain in my neck, which prohibited me from moving my head. I was greeted by a kind staff, had an exam and x-rays done on my first appointment followed by an adjustment. I felt so much better after my first adjustment and by following the treatment plan my headaches and migraines improved. My overall health has improved because of chiropractic care. Dr. Bob helps make sure that I am taking the right supplements to optimize my health and fitness performance. They have helped me with allergies, knee and shoulder pain, and earaches. I had no idea when I began my chiropractic journey just how much help the doctors and staff at HealthWise would be at improving my quality of life."
    Britt H.
  • "I have been a patient at HealthWise Chiropractic for over 20 years. In the past and currently I am seeing Dr. Bob, however, I have seen all docs at Healthwise. My general issues are usually seasonally related to sinus and allergies. Recently I have been receiving treatment for my hip and lower back. Dr. Bob zeros in on trigger points and quickly relieves my pain. He is a wealth of knowledge and offers help and suggestion on my health issues. The staff is friendly and helpful. I leave feeling better and I believe helps to keep my body aligned and energized. I have also come in after falls, injuries and surgeries. I truly believe my adjustments at the time added to a quicker recovery."
    Liz B.
  • "I have been a patient of Dr. Bob for two and half months. . I see him for an adjustment every two weeks. I started seeing a chiropractor for the first time in January 2021 while working in Florida for my continued lower back pain and chronic bilateral hip bursitis. Because my pain was mostly relieved with continued adjustments, I decided to continue with treatment when returning to Wisconsin. I have been very happy with my continued pain relief/adjustments at HealthWise. I highly recommend anyone with chronic back and neck pain to try chiropractic adjustments here at HealthWise. It will make your life better."
    Marianne V.
  • "Really enjoyed the different things that they can do for you and your pain management. Would highly recommend."
    Rhiannon P.
  • "I enjoy coming, getting readjusted and any additional therapies. It has made my life healthier and less stressful. If I have questions, they are answered at that visit. The staff is very professional, personable and friendly. I always look forward to my next visit with them. I am glad to be part of Healthwise Chiropractic family:)"
    Marcella L.
  • "Dr. Mike is fantastic! He is very personable….will take time to really to your needs… I enjoy my visits…the maintenance has helped tremendously…..and he is there when the emergency pops up! Excellent Chiropractor!"
    Ann W.

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