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Jane Brewer, B.A., D.C.  

Journal of Philosophy, Principles & Practice of Chiropractic ~ December 28, 2015 ~ Pages 21-27


Introduction: Given recent pushes towards chiropractic scope of practice expansion in several states across the U.S., California’s Board of Chiropractic Examiners’ records were requested through a Freedom of Information Act request.  Five years (2009-2014) worth of pertinent Board minutes and regulatory files were obtained and reviewed in order to gauge the climate of chiropractic in California and to monitor any past and forthcoming scope of practice changes.

Background: California uses a three-pronged test based on the Chiropractic Practice Act of 1922 in order to determine whether an act or procedure falls within the scope of practice. Between 2009 and 2014, the Board of Chiropractic Examiners has, using their own interpretation of the Act, established regulatory language concerning Manipulation Under Anesthesia (MUA) and Laser Therapy.  As of 2014, regulatory language has been proposed for Extracorporeal Shock Wave (ECSW) Therapy (performed under anesthesia) but has not yet been adopted into the California Code of Regulations.

Analysis: This article addresses the three procedures mentioned above that have been utilized by California chiropractors prior to the establishment of specific regulatory language by the Board.  Despite concern from agencies whose scopes of practice are intimately connected with these types of pseudo-medical procedures, the California Board of Chiropractic Examiners has succeeded in writing inclusionary language that has either been adopted or is pending adoption into California Code of Regulations.

Conclusion: According to the Board, regulatory language is necessary for public protection.  However, the procedures in question tread the line that maintains chiropractic as separate and distinct from allopathy and open the door for further scope expansion and tiering of the chiropractic profession.

Key words:Chiropractic, California, scope of practice, laser, manipulation under anesthesia, Extracorporeal Shock Wave (ECSW) Therapy

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