Dynamic Chiropractic – December 16, 2002, Vol. 20, Issue 26

Arthritis on the Rise

By Editorial Staff
ATLANTA, GA - A telephone survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of 212,000 people from across the United States, reports that arthritis and other chronic joint problems affect one in three U.S.
adults, or 69.9 million people. States in the central and northwestern areas of the country had the highest rates.

The new numbers are 63 percent higher than a 1997 estimate that said about one in five U.S. adults, or nearly 43 million, had arthritis and other chronic joint problems. About a third of those with arthritis-like symptoms said they had not consulted a doctor. The government estimates that arthritis patients cost the country about $80 billion in medical costs and lost work each year.


Palmer Florida Receives One-Year Accreditation

The Higher Learning Commission (HLC) has granted accreditation to Palmer College of Chiropractic's branch in Port Orange, Florida for the first year of its degree program.

Though the college sought full approval for the campus, spokespersons said they were not disheartened by the decision. The HLC, headquartered in Chicago, will tour the Port Orange campus again in summer 2003 to consider expansion of the program.

Accreditation is also being sought from the Council on Chiropractic Education. (See "Open Letter to the Profession," on the front page.) The Florida branch, the third in the Palmer college system, opened its doors in October.


Ohio Chiropractic Association Takes Position on Accident Victim Solicitation

On October 30, 2002, the Ohio State Chiropractic Association (OSCA) Board of Directors unanimously passed the following policy statement on telephone solicitation of accident victims:

"The OSCA continues to receive numerous complaints from doctors and consumers regarding phone solicitation by chiropractic physicians. The primary targets of these calls are auto accident victims and injured workers who have a potential workers' compensation claim.

"It is the opinion of the OSCA that phone solicitation harms the chiropractic profession by creating a negative impression within the consumer public. It also has a potential for abuse, since individuals who receive these calls are likely recovering from trauma and are susceptible to a telemarketer's influence.

"The OSCA strongly urges its membership to consider alternatives instead of engaging in phone solicitation of accident victims and injured workers. The negative perception that is created by these calls outweighs potential benefits.

"Legal disclaimer: This policy statement is intended to offer guidance to members on marketing and is not intended to prevent activity that is legally permissible in Ohio. The OSCA strictly adheres to state and federal antitrust laws."


The Lions Add Chiropractic

DC provider members of Michigan-based HealthQuest will be present at all games played by the NFL's Detroit Lions.

Sol Cogan,DC, owner of the company, said that most professional football teams use chiropractors. "I figured we could help them, and they decided they wanted to work with an organization like ours," he told the Livonia Observer.

Based on the Lions' inactive list for mid-November (www.fordfield.com/games/index.cfm?cont_type_id=1290), the team could use as much chiropractic care as possible. Several players were declared unable to play due to foot, shoulder, neck and toe injuries. Those in the "will-play" category had spine, knee, ankle, elbow, rib and hip injuries.


More Pet Owners Seek DCs

MERTON, WISCONSIN - Dr. Chris Bessent is something of a rarity in her state: she's one of only a handful of people in Wisconsin to be licensed as a chiropractor and a veterinarian. As a certified veterinarian, she is legally allowed to perform chiropractic treatments on animals from her home practice, and prefers to use alternative methods, rather than anti-inflammatories, painkillers and muscle relaxants.

As the demand for such services has grown, however, chiropractors have begun adding animals to their patient lists, raising questions about who should be allowed to provide chiropractic care for animals. The issue has sparked considerable debate in Wisconsin and elsewhere, often pitting chiropractors and veterinarians against each other. Currently, only two states - Nevada and Oklahoma - allow animal owners access to have their pets treated by a chiropractor without a veterinarian's referral. Practicing on animals without a veterinarian being present is also illegal in 48 states.

The president of the Wisconsin Professional Animal Chiropractors Association, Dr. Julie Kaufman, In an interview with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinal, the president of the Wisconsin Professional Animal Chiropractors Association, Dr. Julie Kaufman, said the conflict was simply a turf war. "They want to make sure that they are protected economically, and this is a perceived limitation to the veterinarians if another profession is encroaching on their territory," she said. "It's about money and territory."

Existing Wisconsin law has only added more fuel to the fire. While state provisions allow veterinarians to use chiropractic techniques, the provisions for chiropractors state that such techniques can be practiced only on the human spine, said Russ Leonard, executive director of the Wisconsin Chiropractic Association.

Chiropractic and veterinarian groups have attempted legislative compromises in the past. The most recent occurred in 2001, when a Wisconsin Senate bill would have allowed DCs to treat animals with a referral of a veterinarian, but not in the presence of one. That bill failed to pass.

Veterinarian and chiropractic groups agree that vets should examine a suspected spine- or joint-related injury before referring to a DC. Randy Schuett, past president of the Wisconsin Veterinary Medical Association, added that while his group would want to leave the referral process in place, it would be willing to remove the requirement that forces chiropractors to work alongside veterinarians.

"I would refer to a good human chiropractor," Schuett said. "I'm going to make sure the animal is diagnosed correctly."

For the most part, both parties agree that chiropractic adjustments help animals, particularly horses and dogs that participate in athletic competitions.


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