In So Many Words

Info-Comics by Larry Paros

Chiropractors vs. Surgeons

Oh my achin' back! Won't someone please lend a hand?

Have you considered surgery at the hands of one of our hands-on professionals? They are, after all the elite of the medical profession.

Etymologically, however, they sprang from a rather common background — making them just manual laborers of sorts.

The Greek kheir, "hand" joined with ergon, "work," to produce kheirougia, "a working with the hands." The Latin chirurgia later helped create our first chirurgeon — "one who treated an injury, deformity, or disease by manual or instrumental operation."

It also produced other options — chiromancy, the art of palm reading, as well as chiropractic, the science of hands-on spinal adjustment.

Though chiropractors share the same roots with surgeons, they do not share their prestigious standing. In fact, if it were up to the M.D.'s, they would place them in the same category as palm readers. Chiropractors are the Rodney Dangerfields of the medical community, forever struggling for legitimacy and respect.

More than 100 years have passed since Dean David Palmer, founder of the Palmer Chiropractic College, successfully tried out a new technique on Harvey Lillard of Davenport, Iowa.

Perhaps it's time for you to also give it a try. It may take some adjustment on your part, but the Latin ad, "to" and justis, "law" or "right" may be just what it takes to set things right.