The principles and philosophies which form the foundation of modern chiropractic can be traced back to the late 1800’s to a man by the name of David Daniel (D.D.) Palmer and later his son Bartlett Joshua (B.J.) Palmer. In fact, according to Terry A. Rondberg, D.C (see note), there is “evidence of spinal manipulation discovered in prehistoric cave paintings and as practiced by the ancient Chinese and Greeks. In Rome, Claudius Galen realigned the neck vertebrae of a Roman scholar whose right hand was paralyzed. After the realignment the scholar could use his hand again.”
D.D. Palmer was the pioneer of the chiropractic spinal adjustment, and probably his most famous adjustment was the one he delivered to Harvey Lillard on September 8th, 1895. Harvey had become deaf 17 years earlier when he felt something give in his neck. D.D. Palmer discovered an out of place vertebra in his neck and proceeded to adjust it back to its normal position by using the spinous process of a vertabra as a lever. Soon after that Harvey’s hearing returned to normal.
It was B.J. Palmer who really established and developed chiropractic, but he worked tirelessly, and focused more to promote and communicate the benefits of upper cervical specific chiropractic as opposed to manipulating the entire spinal column. The original Palmer Cure & Infirmary Clinic in Davenport, Iowa opened by D.D. Palmer would be left in the hands of B.J. after another falling out with his father. D.D. moved to Oregon and then California and opened chiropractic clinics. B.J. continued to foster chiropractic. Palmer College of Chiropractic in Davenport, Iowa and a flourishing worldwide chiropractic profession are a tribute to B.J's devotion and perseverance.