The ACA blog provides readers with information to help them advance their knowledge, achieve their professional goals and strive for excellence, while also creating a greater sense of community among chiropractors nationwide through online engagement and information-sharing with their colleagues.

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Go “Back to Basics” During National Chiropractic Health Month: Here’s How!

Back pain remains a persistent and debilitating problem for many people in the United States and around the world. News that the opioid crisis in America has been fueled in part by the overprescribing of pain medications for low back pain amplifies the need for the chiropractic profession to continue spreading its message about the value of a conservative approach to back pain treatment. To this end, National Chiropractic Health Month (NCHM) goes “Back to Basics” this year by focusing on overall health and injury prevention as key strategies in maintaining spinal health throughout a lifetime—and highlighting the growing body of research supporting a conservative approach to back pain treatment.

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Research Review: Biological Mechanisms May Provide Insight into Effectiveness of Spinal Manipulation

One of the most complex and misinterpreted lines of research in chiropractic and manual medicine is the immuno-physiological-endocrine (I made up that term, but you know what I mean!) effects of spinal manipulation and other manual interventions.  The research group out of the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College (CMCC) in Toronto, Canada has done the bulk of the work in this area.  This Research Review discusses their latest publication, which had some very interesting results...enjoy!
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Gallup Event Explores Non-drug Approaches to Pain

It’s pretty difficult to open up a newspaper these days without seeing an article on the devastating public health impact of the opioid epidemic in the United States. While there appears to be general agreement on the scope of the problem, there is less consensus regarding what can be done to solve it. Policy-makers and professional associations taking on this challenge have tended to focus on mortality statistics and/or expert opinion. These are obviously critically important pieces of the puzzle but it is also important to take a patient-centered approach. To facilitate discussion on this important topic, Gallup held a research release event on Sept. 12 in Washington, D.C., titled “Addressing the Opioid Epidemic With Drug-Free Pain Management.”
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A Typical Week at the St. Louis VA Medical Center

Part of a series on the chiropractic residency program in the VA health care system

I’ve had more than a handful of family and friends ask me, “What’s it like working for the VA in St Louis?” and my response is always the same—“It’s great!”  I usually then proceed to give them a rundown of what a typical week looks like as my activities vary from day to day and sometimes from month to month.  An average week is broken down into four different segments: outpatient clinic, interdisciplinary pain rehabilitation (IPR) program, scholarly activities, and clinical rotations. The majority of my time is spent in clinic helping veterans manage their pain and develop healthy habits for self-care. However, the time spent outside the clinic has also been beneficial for personal development and education.

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ACA Today: Not the Same as Yesterday

Nearly two years ago, ACA embarked on a new journey – a branding initiative – to better understand how we can relate to and remain relevant to members now and in the future. We hired a well known branding consultant who reached out to members, non-members, other health care providers and a variety of stakeholders to ask what ACA means to them. After more than 30 hours of interviews, hundreds of survey responses and volumes of research, our consultant’s recommendations were presented to ACA’s Board of Governors last year on how best to redefine our brand. The results were a wake-up call, to say the least. While some of the information uncovered was expected, other findings and comments were uncomfortable to hear. But we had to hear them. 

Author: David Herd
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VA’s Chiropractic Residents Share Experiences and Insights: New Blog Series

Part of a series on the chiropractic residency program in the VA health care system

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) chiropractic residency program reached an historic milestone in 2016 when each of the five sites received accreditation from the Council on Chiropractic Education (CCE)—they are the first U.S. chiropractic residency programs to be awarded this distinction. The programs were also successful in many VA performance metrics, including recruitment of high-quality applicants, 100 percent graduation rates, high degree of graduate placement in VA and/or other hospital settings, and high satisfaction across multiple stakeholders. Consequently, in early 2017 VA transitioned the chiropractic residency pilot into a standing residency program. Two residents of the program will share their experiences through a new ACA blog post series. 
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MACRA and MIPS: Getting the Big Picture

The Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA) officially ushered in the value-based model of reimbursement, beginning a change to the payment landscape of American health care. But what does this mean to providers? What does it mean overall for you as a chiropractic physician? First of all, we shouldn’t be afraid of the deck being “reshuffled. Anytime there is a change in a system – especially a system that has delayed or avoided change – it becomes ripe for an innovative, landmark transformation.
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Choosing Wisely X-ray Recommendations Reflect Evolving Evidence, Accepted Standards

The first ACA Choosing Wisely® recommendation states: 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. Some doctors of chiropractic may be surprised that ACA included this recommendation. There are many DCs who are committed to delivery of high-quality patient care that currently take or order X-rays on a majority of their patients because they believe that X-rays are a necessary component of the examination process. There are a number of reasons why this is the case.

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Research Review: Association of SMT with Clinical Benefit and Harm for Acute LBP: Systematic Review and Meta-analysis

*Member-Exclusive Content* A number of systematic reviews have been performed on spinal manipulative therapy (SMT), although their findings have been conflicting. The current review was initiated with the purpose of addressing the divergent conclusions among studies and to include new trials that have been published since the previous reviews. The review’s objectives were to provide updated estimates of the effectiveness and harms associated with SMT compared with other nonmanipulative therapies for adults with acute low back pain. 

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11 Reasons Why Performance Measurement Matters to the Chiropractic Profession

Long before many of us can remember, there were only two people sitting in the chiropractic treatment room – the patient and the doctor. Gradually, the state licensing boards starting showing up. They were joined by the insurance industry. Then health policy makers like Medicare and Medicaid. Followed by more members of the insurance industry. Then scientists made an appearance, talking about evidence-based clinical practice. Now this already very crowded room may become even more crowded if we open the door to the ever-loudly-knocking performance measurers. We have had time to get at least somewhat used to the state and national boards, insurers, policy makers and even the scientists, to some extent. But what is performance measurement and how might it be beneficial to the practice of chiropractic?  
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