Some of the earliest healers in the history of the world understood the relationship between health and the condition of the spine.
Hippocrates advised: "Get knowledge of the spine, for this is the requisite for many diseases."
There is evidence that many early cultures (Greek, Eqyptian, Chinese, etc. ) all used some form of spinal manipulation as part of their healthcare systems. But it was not until 1895 that DD Palmer started what is now known as Chiropractic Medicine. In 1896 he opened the Palmer School of Chiropractic in Iowa.
The first Chiropractic adjustment was on a partially deaf janitor, Harvey Lillard, who mentioned a few days later to Palmer that his hearing seemed better.
Chiropractic is not the same as osteopathy, even though some similarities exist. The first school of osteopathy was opened in Kirksville, MO in 1892.
DD Palmer was presenting Doctor of Veterinary Chiropractic certificates as early as 1905. Chiropractors have been treating animals since the profession arose but it wasn't until the mid 1980's that formal, postgraduate training specifically for veterinary chiropractic began.
Sharon Willoughby DVM, DC started the first Veterinary Chiropractic school in 1985. This school (now known as OPTIONS FOR ANIMALS), trains veterinarians and chiropractors in the art of Veterinary Chiropractic. There are presently two other schools also offering this service.
As with any medical profession, research constantly changes theories of how processes work, including nerve function itself. As new information is obtained, changes are made in the way techniques are performed and in explaining techniques.
Two organizations offer certification exams. The American Veterinary Chiropractic Association (AVCA) and the International Veterinary Chiropractic Association (IVCA).