Chiropractic's Role in Opioid Crisis, Senior Health Among Top Policies Approved at 53rd ACA Annual Meeting
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March 2, 2016 

Chiropractic's Role in Opioid Crisis, Senior Health Among Top Policies Approved at 53rd ACA Annual Meeting
Arlington, Va. - The American Chiropractic Association (ACA) House of Delegates (HOD) met last week in Washington, D.C., during the 2016 National Chiropractic Leadership Conference (NCLC) and adopted a policy statement proposing a solution to the dual public health concerns of inadequate pain management and opioid abuse, both of which have garnered widespread attention among federal health care agencies and the media in recent years.

"Chiropractic's non-drug approach to pain management puts this profession in a unique position to help reduce the prescription drug abuse, misuse and overdose that is currently plaguing the nation," said ACA President David A. Herd, DC. "ACA has done much already to bring attention to chiropractic as a conservative treatment option for pain. We must continue to amplify our message as well as promote other strategies moving forward." 

The new policy statement supports the investigation of nonpharmacologic interventions for pain treatment across a variety of patient populations and healthcare delivery settings; the promotion of evidence-based nonpharmacologic therapies within best practice models for pain management; the improvement of access to providers of nonpharmacologic therapies; interprofessional education to augment the training of pain management teams; and public health campaigns to raise awareness of drug-free treatment options for pain syndromes.

During the HOD meeting, delegates also approved a resolution to create a College on Aging to promote and advance research in aging, encourage the development of standard terminology in aging and disseminate educational material related to aging to doctors of chiropractic. 

"In 2015, ACA adopted a resolution making Medicare reform one of its top legislative priorities and is currently leading a campaign to expand senior access to and reimbursement for chiropractic services," noted Dr. Herd. "With this in mind, we have a greater responsibility to effectively evaluate and manage the aging population."

He added that the College on Aging will work in collaboration with other ACA specialties and committees to develop and promote meaningful utilization management strategies and clinical guidelines relative to the Medicare population.

Additional resolutions passed by delegates during the annual meeting included: 

  • The establishment of a College of Clinical Electrodiagnosis that would operate under the auspices of the ACA Council of Chiropractic Physiological Therapeutics and Rehabilitation. The purpose of the College is to provide educational programs in clinical electrodiagnosis and neurophysiology, as well as promote and support this particular specialty for the benefit of the public and the chiropractic profession. 
  • The formation of the National Chiropractic Advocacy Alliance, a forum through which state chiropractic organizations can work more effectively with ACA on national advocacy efforts. 

For photos and more information on resolutions passed during the ACA House of Delegates meeting, contact ACA's communications department.

NCLC is the premier national conference for doctors of chiropractic, chiropractic assistants and chiropractic doctoral students. The event brings together the best of chiropractic, including current and future leaders, by exposing them to important professional briefings, cutting-edge education programs and opportunities to meet with elected officials and colleagues. 


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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 and follow us on Twitter and Facebook.