Top 10 ACA Blog Posts of 2019

Our review of the top 10 blog posts on ACA Blogs in 2019 provides plenty of evidence that readers are most interested in topics that will help them better care for their patients as well as information on new developments in health care policy. Thanks to all who engaged with ACA Blogs over the past year. If you missed any of our top 10 posts of the year, here is your chance to catch up:

New Dry Needling Codes Included in CPT 2020

The American Medical Association (AMA) announced in September 2019 the release of the 2020 Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) code set featuring 248 new codes, including two that focus on dry needling. The newly developed codes for dry needling will be available for use by any qualified healthcare professional beginning Jan. 1, 2020.

Research Review: Non-surgical Treatment vs. Self-directed Care to Improve Walking in Lumbar Spinal Stenosis

Lumbar spinal stenosis (LSS) is caused by age-related degenerative changes in older adults and is a leading cause of pain, disability and loss of independence. LSS is also the most common reason for spinal surgery in older adults. Most patients are managed non-surgically, despite the fact systematic reviews of non-surgical management suggest unproven benefit for improving walking outcomes. This research review looks at a recent, randomized controlled trial designed to compare the effectiveness of a structured, comprehensive, conservative treatment program with a focus on self-management and improved walking ability to a self-directed program in improving walking ability in patients with neurogenic claudication due to LSS.

Billing for Dry Needling Services (Needle Insertion Without Injection)

Dry needling has become an accepted procedure for the management of myofascial trigger points, offering a viable option to pain medications and surgical intervention. The procedure can also be applied to specific muscle motor points, spinal segments, and other structures including ligaments, tendons and joint capsules for pain relief. In clinical practice it is often used in conjunction with other physical medicine procedures and modalities to manage pain and improve function.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Research Update

With up to 10% of the population suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS), it’s important to keep up with new information about this disabling condition. A significant amount of new data has been published in the past quarter about the management of CTS. This ACA Blogs post by Tim Bertelsman, DC, will equip evidence-based chiropractors with a quick summary of the 10 most significant findings.

Support H.R. 3654 and Medicare Parity for Chiropractors and Their Patients

The Chiropractic Medicare Coverage Modernization Act of 2019 (H.R. 3654) is bipartisan legislation championed by ACA and introduced in Congress on July 9 by Reps. Brian Higgins (D-N.Y.) and Tom Reed (R-N.Y.). The bill would correct a longstanding oversight and give seniors access to the full array of Medicare services that their doctors of chiropractic are qualified and licensed to provide in their respective states.

Psychological, Social Factors in Chronic Pain: The Impact on Chiropractic Patients

The current opioid epidemic in the United States brings long overdue attention to nonpharmacological approaches to managing pain.  Among the recommended therapies for low back pain by the American College of Physicians, for example, are spinal manipulation, acupuncture, yoga and cognitive behavioral therapy.  While it may be clear why body-based therapies were recommended, the inclusion of a psychological approach, such as cognitive behavioral therapy, may raise some eyebrows. Researchers Margaret Chesney, PhD, and Christine Goertz, DC, PhD, explore how psychological factors play a role in the experience of chronic pain as well as what patients and their providers should know.

Top 4 Most Commonly Missed Hip Diagnoses

Problems involving the hip are some of the most frequently undiagnosed or misdiagnosed conditions. When a patient presents with hip pain, chiropractors immediately consider the most probable culprits—like greater throchanteric pain syndrome and osteoarthritis. But what if the diagnosis is not so straightforward? A new paper by Lee identified the four top undiagnosed causes of hip pain.

Population Spine Health Management

The healthcare landscape in the United States is rapidly evolving. Population Spine Health Management and other contemporary practice principles are being implemented by hospital systems and physicians nationwide. Author David J. BenEliyahu, DC, who is an administrator of back pain and chiropractic programs at Mather Hospital/Northwell Health in Port Jefferson, N.Y., believes chiropractors should become versed in these contemporary practice principles and consider implementing them into their practices.

ACA Announces Legislative Priorities for 116th Congress

With the new year and the first session of the 116th Congress underway, the American Chiropractic Association is ready to tackle a number of important legislative issues on behalf of ACA members, patients and the chiropractic profession. The push for full inclusion of chiropractic services in the Medicare program remains the No. 1 legislative priority for the association and its members. Find out what else made the list.

Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Techniques as a Treatment for Healthcare Provider Burnout

Burnout syndrome has been defined as a three-dimensional syndrome characterized by exhaustion, cynicism and inefficiency. It has also been described as the opposite to engagement, which is defined as energy, involvement and efficacy.  One aspect of inefficiency may be a sense of low personal accomplishment – an area often examined in studies on healthcare provider burnout. In her latest ACA Blogs post, VA resident Danielle Aslan, DC, explores how mindfulness-based stress reduction utilized in the VA for patients with chronic pain may also aid healthcare providers.

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