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Chiropractic Journal of Australia : CJA March 2012
15 Chiropractic Journal of Australia Volume 42 Number 1 March 2012 Animal Chiropractic Neutralises the Claim of Placebo Effect of Spinal Manipulation: Historical Perspectives PETER L ROME ABSTRACT: A review has been conducted of material published in relation to the role of chiropractic care of animals. Interestingly, the initial record of such care in 1896 is only one year after the recognised beginning of chiropractic health care of humans. There have been formal courses established in animal chiropractic, as well as chiropractic hospitals for animals, sections in textbooks relating to vertebral adjustments of quadrupeds, as well as full texts. References to numerous anecdotal reports are presented - one involving an orangutang. Acknowledgement of these early contributions to animal chiropractic and its steady acceptance would contradict critics who may claim that any positive result obtained by spinal adjustments is psychological. Successful resolution by spinal adjustments of health conditions in animal patients negates such claims. It would be up to critics to demonstrate any so-called placebo effect in view of the demand, acceptance and development of this evolving profession. INDEX TERMS: (MeSH): CHIROPRACTIC; VERTEBRATES. (Other): ANIMAL CHIROPRACTIC, HISTORY; VERTEBRAL ADJUSTMENTS. Chiropr J Aust 2012;42: 15-20. PL Rome DC Melbourne Australia Received: 27 September 2011, accepted with revisions: 1 December 2011 INTRODUCTION "Where there is a nervous system, housed and protected by a moveable vertebral column, there will be periodic subluxations and the need for chiropractic ministrations to correct such abnormalities." Homewood 1980.1 Virtually since its inception, chiropractors have been adjusting the spines of various vertebrates. The earliest reference to chiropractic care with animals appears to have been reported by Palmer in 1899.2 Browning indicated that DD Palmer later offered a diploma of Doctor of Chiropractic Veterinary3 (“DCV”) (Circa 1905) (Fig 1). Regrettably, as of 2007 he was unable to establish that the diploma had ever been offcially awarded.3 This interest in animals was further confrmed by DD Palmer’s grandson Dave Palmer, who recalled stories of DD’s horses “Nip” and “Tuck.” 3 However, there is no documented evidence that DD actually adjusted those horses at that time. (Peters R, Personal communication.) Another early reference to applying the chiropractic model to animals appears to be in Palmer’s 1910 text.4 He notes that a Dr McConnell conducted research whereby he "Took dogs from the pound and wrenched their spines at certain points. A few weeks later the dogs were killed. The nerves near the strained vertebrae were examined with the naked eye and microscope; also the organs which those nerves supplied. In every instance the nerves and the organs innervated by them were found congested, infamed and their function disordered." METHOD A search of the reference lists of a number of animal chiropractic papers was performed. Where possible, the original papers of those listed were then obtained from the RMIT University library in Melbourne, Australia, and other tertiary sources. Other material was provided by the editor of this journal. His retrievals from the archives at the Palmer School of Chiropractic produced a number of the earliest papers. In addition, a rather extensive search of computer sites also produced reference papers or leads to them. Figure 1. Diploma - D.C.V. Doctor of Chiropractic Veterinary3 Circa 1905.
CJA June 2012