By: Al Meyer

The ongoing battle between the Texas Medical Board (“TMB”), the Texas Medical Association (“TMA”) and Texas chiropractors appears to be at an end. For years, Texas medical doctors armed with support of their medical board and the Texas Medical Association, have attempted to limit a chiropractor’s scope of diagnosis and scope of practice. However, on June 14, 2013 the Texas Supreme Court denied a petition submitted by the Texas Medical Association and the Texas Medical Board for an additional review of an appeals court decision reversing the trial court’s ruling limiting chiropractic diagnosis and treatment to that of maladies of the spine.

In 2006 the Texas Board of Chiropractic Examiners issued regulations permitting chiropractors to render diagnoses regarding the biomechanical condition of the spine and musculoskeletal system and listed 6 typical diagnostic areas. A second rule permits chiropractors to diagnose subluxation of the spine and musculoskeletal system and lists three examples of what is within the scope of practice.

The TMA and TMB challenged the rule claiming that the scope of the rule permitted chiropractors to diagnose neurological conditions and pathological and neuro-physiological consequences of the spine and musculoskeletal system and was well beyond the scope of chiropractic practice. The trial court rendered a verdict striking down the regulation.

The court of appeals in reversing the trial court’s decision relied, in part, on the following definition of subluxation complex as part of their rationale in its decision. The appeals court opined that the definition of subluxation complex was very broad:

Subluxation complex establishes that it is a neuromusculoskeletal condition that involves and aberrant relationship between two adjacent articular structures that may have functional or pathological sequelae, causing an alteration of the biomechanical and/or neuro-physiological reflections of these articular structures, their proximate structures, and/or other body systems that may be directly or indirectly affected by them.

This is a tremendous victory for Texas chiropractors as they will be able to continue to practice under current laws and rules as well as diagnose such conditions. For at least the foreseeable future, chiropractic in Texas remains a strong force in the health care of citizens of the Lone Star State.

Credit: Dr. James Edwards and Dynamic Chiropractic, August 1, 2013