Chiropractors Are NOT Neurologists – Don’t Expand Their Scope

TMA Written Testimony

House Public Health Subcommittee on the Health Professions
House Bill 2733 by Rep. Phil Stephenson 

April 4, 2019

Members of the House Public Health Subcommittee on the Health Professions, the Texas Medical Association appreciates your consideration of this bill and emphatically opposes House Bill 2733.

The current statutory definition of chiropractic references its focus on the “musculoskeletal” system. HB 2733 would add “neuro” to its definition. We find this an unwarranted expansion, contrary to patient health care and unsupported by chiropractors’ education and training.

Simply alleging that the basis of this proposal is the impossibility of treating conditions related to the “musculoskeletal” system without a neurological connection is misleading, oversimplified, and potentially dangerous. Adding the term “neuro” is not merely the addition of the nerves that may connect muscle tissue or bones. It is the addition of the entire neurological system that includes the brain, the spinal cord, and the regulation of many bodily functions – all well beyond chiropractors’ education and training.

Among the most common neurological disorders, according to the World Health Organization, are:

  • Dementia,
  • Epilepsy,
  • Headache disorders (such as migraines),
  • Multiple sclerosis,
  • Neuroinfections, 
  • Neurological disorders associated with malnutrition,
  • Pain associated with neurological disorders,
  • Parkinson’s disease,
  • Stroke, and
  • Traumatic brain injuries.

Neurology is the specialty of medicine that deals with the anatomy, functions, and organic disorders of nerves and the nervous system. Physicians who specialize in neurology invest four years of medical school and at least four years of intense residency training to attain their level of expertise. In addition, physicians take a minimum of 48 hours of continuing medical education each two-year license period to stay current in their specialty and improve the care they give their patients.

Contrary to allegations, NOT passing this bill will have absolutely no effect on the current practice of chiropractic. Passing this bill would be a significant expansion of chiropractic scope of practice without the practitioners having anywhere near the necessary training and education to treat complex medical illnesses and conditions.

We respectfully urge your opposition to HB 2733.

86th Texas Legislature Letters and Testimonies

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Last Updated On

April 03, 2019