An important concept in the early years of chiropractic was innate intelligence—the idea that the body has an inborn ability to self-regulate and maintain health.
D.D. Palmer, the founder of chiropractic, maintained that innate intelligence flowed through the body’s nervous system, which influences all other systems of the body. Palmer believed the flow of innate intelligence through the nervous system could be hindered or impinged by distortions in the spinal column, so the original premise of chiropractic was to align the spinal column to ensure proper function of spinal nerves.
For example, when the spine is not positioned normally, it can irritate the nerves exiting the spine. And when spinal nerves are irritated, they don't function normally and can affect the function of the tissues they interact with. This "end-organ" effect is the central interest in chiropractic care. The relief of localized discomfort at the point of irritation is also an objective of care.