Appeals Court Backs TMA in Chiro Lawsuit

Texas chiropractors may not perform needle electromyography (EMG) or manipulation under anesthesia (MUA), the Third Court of Appeals ruled earlier this month. The 58-page appellate court decision supports arguments from the Texas Medical Association and the Texas Medical Board that the Texas Board of Chiropractic Examiners exceeded its legal authority when it adopted rules allowing chiropractors to perform needle EMGs and MUA.

The appeals court justices, however, sent a portion of the case back to the state district court to consider the constitutionality of the Texas Chiropractic Act and the Scope of Practice Rule. Since the court of appeals ruled that the "diagnosis" of "biomechanical conditions of the spine or musculoskeletal system" is within the chiropractors' statutory scope of practice, the question to be resolved is whether this is constitutional, as the Texas Constitution restricts the practice of medicine to those who attend medical school. 

The ruling is the latest development in TMA's ongoing legal case against the chiropractic board. As in other TMA lawsuits against nonphysician groups, TMA is attempting to protect patients' safety by making sure only properly trained physicians perform complex medical procedures.  


 Action, April 17, 2012


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