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Chiropractic and the Opioid Crisis - Rhode Island Celebrates a Recent Victory

As the opioid epidemic rages in cities and towns across the United States, one thing is clear – patients need an alternative to prescription painkillers to help with chronic pain.

Opioids are routinely prescribed for neck pain, low back pain, headaches, neuromusculoskeletal and other related conditions. Prescription painkillers offer only a high-risk, potentially addictive band-aid for the patient when the root cause of the pain is not addressed.

“Chiropractic services are an important first line of defense against pain and, in some cases, can lessen a patient’s reliance on addictive painkillers or prevent their use altogether,” said ACA President David Herd, DC. “It makes sense to exhaust conservative forms of treatment such as chiropractic before moving on to riskier, potentially addictive pain medications.”

Research has found spinal manipulation to be effective for acute and chronic musculoskeletal pain. Chiropractors are now in a unique position to help patients and communities tackle the opioid crisis. Some have already joined the front lines in the battle.

Part of the battle includes getting insurers to not only recognize the efficacy of chiropractic treatment but to offer reimbursement to chiropractors for non-opioid treatment of pain. In this arena, Rhode Island chiropractors celebrate a recent victory. Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo has recently signed legislation requiring insurers to reimburse chiropractors for medically necessary non-opioid pain treatments. Taking effect April 1, 2018, the legislation includes several significant stipulations that directly benefit the state’s doctors of chiropractic.

“Medically necessary” still seems to be the buzz-phrase and that is nothing to be afraid of. With Document Plus, you have all the tools you need to document and produce letters of medical necessity for insurance companies as well as easy communication for coordination of care with other healthcare providers.


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A renowned international lecturer, Dr. Dan Murphy is an expert on pain, proprioceptive neurology, injury repair and nutrition combined. He graduated Magna Cum Laude from Western States Chiropractic College in 1978. Dr. Murphy received diplomate status in Chiropractic Orthopedics in 1986. With over 30 years of experience, he currently teaches seniors in the management of spinal disorders at Life Chiropractic College West.

Dr. Murphy was three times awarded the Post-Graduate Educator of the Year award, given by the International Chiropractic Association. In 2003, he was awarded Chiropractor of the Year by Chiropractic Biophysics. Dr. Murphy has been the Vice President of the International Chiropractic Association since 2003.


Below, I have included a list of references and interesting information for you to browse at your leisure

Chiropractic and the opioid crisis. Interesting reads.


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