Did you know that the very first chiropractic patient didn’t have back pain?

Mr. Harvey Lillard owned a janitorial services company in Davenport, Iowa. On September 18th, 1895, while cleaning the offices of D.D. Palmer, Lillard and Palmer were having a conversation. They were discussing why Harvey had hearing difficulties, and how long the problem had been present. Mr. Lillard explained that 17 years earlier, he bent over in a stooped position and heard a “pop” in his neck, and that his hearing quickly diminished from that day on.

Having knowledge of human anatomy and physiology, Palmer examined Lillard, and found a lump on his back. He recognized the lump as a badly misaligned vertebra, and reasoned that since it had occurred when the man went deaf, restoring the vertebra to its proper position might also restore Lillard’s hearing. Sure enough, Lillard’s hearing was restored shortly after that adjustment!

Palmer reasoned that the body was controlled through the brain and nerve system by thousands of messages sent every second to control each structure and function within the body, and that pressure on the nerves could distort and block these messages as they traveled from the brain, to the spinal cord and on to the body. Palmer felt that Lillard’s hearing loss was due to a blockage of the spinal nerves which control the inner ear. Ultimately, this nerve blockage and bone misalignment “vertebral subluxations”, lessened the body’s ability to function by disrupting communication over the nerve system.