Washington PTs Lobby to Perform Spinal Manipulation

January 29, 2009 · Filed Under Main Content · 2 Comments 

ptswashingtonDr. Elaine Armantrout, PT, DSc, ECS, was joined by 625 physical therapists and physical therapist assistants, members of the Washington State Physical Therapy Association, to lobby legislators in Olympia for removal of the spinal manipulation prohibition in the state.

Senate Bill SB5230 would allow PTs to perform spinal manipulation. It would also remove the requirement that PTs must show evidence of adequate education and training in spinal manipulation and submit to the secretary an affidavit that includes evidence of adequate education and training in spinal manipulation for all PTs graduating in 2009 and later. The bill would also allow Washington State PTs to advertise spinal manipulation and mobilization. Dr. Armantout states: “It’s been proven, in studies, that spinal manipulation is the most effective treatment for patients to get better faster for neck pain and low back pain”.

Here is the video that appears on the Seattle Times website:

Fortunately for chiropractors that detect and correct subluxations, this poses no concern. PTs performing “chiropractic adjustments” is specifically excluded in the language of the bill. Thankfully we have several national groups that have worked long and hard to maintain the specific language of chiropractic in the scope of practice laws in the individual states, including but not limited to: the ICA, FSCO, and WCA . Many state associations have been equally as diligent.

With more than 187 doctorate physical therapy degree programs in the US beginning to graduate doctors of physical therapy, chiropractors who have been content to document and manage soft tissue injuries for PI attorneys and managed care organizations are going to quickly see their practices seriously impacted, not just in Washington, but across the nation.

Let’s face facts. These new doctors, DPTs, are much better aligned to co-manage back and neck pain with their MD/DO brethren than chiropractors. The recent inroads many PI / pain based practices have been making establishing referral arrangements with MD/DOs will be much less attractive when they can now refer to a Doctor of PT for both rehab and manipulation.

As we reported last year, the folks behind the Necks911 campaign (who also take credit for derailing the FSU chiropractic college effort) are actively preaching their anti-chiropractic rhetoric to doctorate PT program students and to practicing PTs as continuing education classes.

The PT associations have already begun to cite “concerns raised of injury resulting from manipulation of the upper cervical spine. By contrast, within the physical therapy profession studies have been published on effective methods for addressing neck pain by manipulating the thoracic spine, where less risk exists”.

Get it: Safe, effective spinal manipulation by a member of your traditional, allopathic medical team good. Chiropractic bad.

Thankfully there are those that have remained true to chiropractic by maintaining this sacred trust as a separate and distinct profession with separate and distinct language. It is time for like minded chiropractors that provide chiropractic adjustments for the purpose of correcting vertebral subluxations to rally together and let the public know what we do, why we do it and what we don’t do. Chiropractic as episodic treatment for low back / neck pain is no longer a viable long term business model.

Vertebral subluxation correction for the purpose of allowing the maximum expression of life and health in the human body remains the exclusive domain of the chiropractor. Our vitalistic roots, our 113 year history of opposing: the overuse of prescription drugs, mass vaccination and toxins in the water and food supply along with our patient satisfaction ratings that are unmatched in the healing arts are exactly what the public is searching for. There has never been a better time to tell our story to the masses and get them under chiropractic care. Efforts like this should serve as a wake up call to chiropractors nationwide that the time is now to better define what we do and take our message to the public. I’m all in. Care to join me?