Chiropractors Choosing Wisely

We can all agree that we want chiropractors choosing wisely. There is more to that than you might think, though. To aid in the effort to have chiropractors choosing wisely the American Chiropractic Association (ACA) is encouraging its members to support evidence-informed care in addition to shared decision making between patients and their doctors. The ACA has announced that it is partnering with Choosing Wisely, a project developed by the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) with the goal of having more meaningful conversations between chiropractors and their patients. The ultimate goal is to reduce unnecessary treatments and overused services. This will result in increasing the level of patient care and reducing costs.

Endorsed BY ACA President

Chiropractors Choosing Wisely has the endorsement of ACA President David Herd, D.C. and is seen as a way to help the doctors and their patients to develop closer, more meaningful relationships. The ACA serves a number of functions as the largest professional association of chiropractors. One of those functions is to educate the public about the benefits of chiropractic services. The mission of the ABIM Foundation is to advance medical professionalism to improve the health care system.

The Choosing Wisely project was first announced in December 2011. The ACA is encouraging the Chiropractors Choosing Wisely project through news releases and educational programs directed at members of the American Chiropractors Association.

Five Recommendations

The ACA released a list of five tests and procedures that they state are not always necessary, but are commonly ordered in chiropractic care. The Chiropractors Choosing Wisely campaign encourages chiropractors to consider the need for these tests or procedures when treating their patients. Here are the five recommendations. They are copied right from the ACA article.

  • In the absence of red flags, do not obtain spinal imaging (X-rays) for patients with acute low-back pain during the six weeks after the onset of pain.
  • Do not perform repeat spinal imaging to monitor patients’ progress.
  • Avoid prolonged or ongoing use of passive or palliative physical therapy treatments (such as heat, cold, electrical stimulation and ultrasound) for low-back pain unless they support the goal(s) of an active treatment plan.
  • Do not provide long-term pain management without psychosocial screening or assessment for possible related psychological disorders, most notably depression and anxiety.
  • Do not prescribe lumbar supports or braces for the long-term treatment or prevention of low-back pain.

Chiropractors Choosing Wisely is a program that should go far in helping to cement good relationships between doctors and their patients.

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