History of Chiropractic

Many chiropractic patients ask, “How did chiropractic get started?” Well, Chiropractic got started in Davenport Iowa a little over 100 years ago. In 1895 a “magnetic healer” as he was called, by the name of DD Palmer operated an office on the corner of Second and Brady street in downtown Davenport. Dr. Palmer, as he was known, noticed on that day the janitor who worked in his building was nearly totally deaf.

This janitor was a black gentleman by the name of Harvey Lillard. Upon questioning, (probably very loud questioning) Harvey explained to Dr. Palmer that he had lost most of his hearing 17 years earlier when he was bending over and felt a “pop” in his upper back or neck. Dr. Palmer examined the area and noticed a bump which he determined to be a spinal vertebrae out of position. It seemed that Harvey noticed this bump right after he lost his hearing. Having a knowledge of anatomy, Dr. Palmer convinced Harvey to allow him to try to fix it by pushing the bone back into place.

History is uncertain as to whether it was one visit or several, but the result was Harvey got his hearing back! From that point DD Palmer changed his practice over to this new method of replacing bones that were out of position and allowing people to heal. His practice grew and the profession of chiropractic was born.

Within two years Dr. Palmer opened the first school of Chiropractic on Brady Street in Davenport. It was his son Dr. BJ Palmer, who continued the school after the death of DD. It is the son BJ, who is given credit today for growing and developing the profession into what it has become today.