The American Chiropractic Association (ACA), in recent comments submitted to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) Office of Pain Policy on the draft National Pain Strategy, strongly urges the agency to include recommendations encouraging patients and health care providers to first exhaust conservative forms of pain management, when appropriate.
“Doctors of chiropractic practice a hands-on, drug-free approach to health care that has been shown to alleviate neuromusculoskeletal complaints. When other medical conditions exist, chiropractic care may complement or support medical treatment by relieving the musculoskeletal aspects associated with the condition,” writes ACA Acting Executive Vice President Richard Miller as part of ACA’s formal comments.
ACA specifically urges the federal government to change outdated, statutory language in Medicare to allow chiropractic physicians to practice and be reimbursed for the fullest extent of their licensure, training and competencies; appoint doctors of chiropractic as officers in the commissioned Regular Corps and the Ready Reserve Corps of the Public Health Service; make clear the intention of Section 2706(a) of the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act to allow patients to see providers of their choice when seeking treatment for pain and other musculoskeletal conditions; expand access to chiropractic services in the nation’s military and Department of Veterans Affairs health care systems; and expand access to chiropractic services in all other federal health programs, including research programs related to pain management.
The comments submitted by ACA are part of the profession’s ongoing efforts to educate the public about the value of exhausting non-invasive, non-pharmaceutical treatments for pain management and health enhancement before moving on to riskier options. ACA’s annual observance National Chiropractic Health Month this October will promote the conservative approach to care with the theme #PainFreeNation.
A conservative model of care encourages, when appropriate, the use of more cost-effective and safer approaches over potentially addictive medications, surgery and other invasive procedures for pain management. For example, conservative management of painful conditions may include spinal manipulation combined with exercise and stretching prior to moving on to treatments involving higher risk, such as opioids.
The comments received by NINDS from ACA and other groups will be used to create a comprehensive population health level strategy for pain prevention, treatment, management and research.
The American Chiropractic Association based in Arlington, Va., is the largest professional association in the United States representing doctors of chiropractic. ACA promotes the highest standards of ethics and patient care, contributing to the health and well-being of millions of chiropractic patients. Visit us at www.acatoday.org.