Myofascial Trigger Point & the Effect of the G.I. Bill on Chiropractic

125 Years of Chiropractic 

Celebrate 125 years of chiropractic medicine with MeyerDC! Each month we are focusing on a different achievement or innovation from chiropractic history. Last month, we covered 1930–1940 and the formation of the National Chiropractic Association. This month, we will look at 1940–1950 with the coining of “myofascial trigger point” and the effect of the G.I. Bill on chiropractic.

Chiropractic Education & Myofascial Trigger Point

In an effort to standardize chiropractic education, the National Chiropractic Association (NCA) published the first edition of Chiropractic Education: Outline of a Standard Course by Dr. John J. Nugent, D.C in 1941. Later in 1942, after years of comprehensive research on myofascial pain, dysfunction, and trigger points, Dr. Janet Travell and Dr. S. Rinzler coined the term “myofascial trigger point.”1 Dr. Travell’s research and published works provided the foundation for trigger point knowledge as well as a fuller understanding of pain found in muscle and the overlying fascia. By 1944, the Chiropractic Research Foundation, now known today as the FCER, was established by the NCA, with the intent to acquire “funding for and promoting the development of research for the chiropractic profession.”2

Chiropractic Boom

 The end of World War II in 1945 brought new growth to the chiropractic profession. With the aid of the G.I. Bills, returning veterans who otherwise would not have been able to attend colleges and universities were able to for the first time. This new crop of tens of thousands of college-bound individuals made enrollment in chiropractic colleges skyrocket, causing interest in the chiropractic profession to explode.  

Malpractice Insurance & the Council on Education

In 1945, the National Chiropractic Insurance Company, known currently as the NCMIC Group, was chartered by the NCA. The National Chiropractic Insurance Company was able to sell malpractice insurance, authorized by the Iowa Commissioner of Insurance, starting in 1946. By 1947, the NCA House of Delegates established the Council on Education to help further standardize chiropractic education among the chiropractic schools. The Council on Education is the precursor to today’s Council on Chiropractic Education. Then in 1948, Meyer Distributing Co. was formed by Alphonse Meyer with Dr. Gertrude Dunsworth and her husband.

Looking Ahead

As we continue our look at chiropractic technology and innovations through the decades, next month we will focus on Dr. J. Clay Thompson’s invention of the multiple “drop points” table.

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1Shah, Jay P, et al. “Myofascial Trigger Points Then and Now: A Historical and Scientific Perspective.” PM & R : the Journal of Injury, Function, and Rehabilitation, U.S. National Library of Medicine, July 2015,


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