ACA Guidelines What You Should Know


evidence-based clinical practice guidelines and related documents. The National Guidelines Clearing- house is an initiative of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. It is also noted that radiography has been within the scope of chiropractic practice in multiple jurisdictions, including it having been recognized in all the 50 US states for decades. The ICA Best Practices and Practice Guidelines document includes an extensive list of clinical indications for taking an x-ray image of a patient - such as history of trauma, including birth trauma;

motor vehicle accidents, falls, and sports injuries; clinical condition(s) affecting the spine and articulations including postural imbalances, biomechanical dysfunctions, scoliosis and other curvatures, arthritis, restrictions or loss of normal movement, pain, subluxations - that indicate the relevance of performing radiographic studies, includ- ing the reasonable anticipation that the results of such a study will influence and help direct the chiropractic care of the patient. In addition, however, while guidelines are an effective tool to assist Doctors of Chiropractic in providing appropriate, effective, and safe care for patients, the ultimate judgment regarding the suitability of any study or course of action must be made by the practitioner in light of the unique combina- tion of all the distinctive circumstances and needs related to the particular patient. Radiographic studies are the most frequently utilized imaging procedure by the

chiropractic profession to identify multiple clinical components, including fractures, con- genital, traumatic, developmental, postural, biomechanical and degenerative conditions, ruling out pathologies, and assess indications for appropriate options in performing a spinal adjustment. X-ray imaging is an essential tool to assist doctors of chiropractic in determining particular chiropractic techniques and case management strategies, including referral to and consultations with other health care providers. In addition, it is a usual and customary practice to undertake subsequent radiographic studies where they may be indicated by new circumstances affecting the patient, e.g., motor vehicle accident, frequent pain patterns, sports injury, or other clinical elements indicating the need to evaluate progressive changes, biomechanical dysfunctions, assess subluxation reduction and correction, and evaluate scoliosis or other curvatures, and to determine factors associated with sudden loss or reduction of clinical progress or efficacy of care. Post adjustment comparison x-ray studies are also standard practice required to effectively utilize certain techniques as it provides valuable information to assess the effects of the chiropractic adjustment and to assess and anticipate the patient’s response to care and future progress. For questions on best practices and radiographic studies in chiropractic care, and for orientation of insurance company staff about the necessity of radiographic studies for chiropractic care, please refer interested parties to the International Chiropractors Association Best Practices Guidelines - The International Chiropractors Association is the oldest continuously active international chiropractic organization in the world and represents thousands of practitioners, educators, students, organizations, and lay persons around the globe. ICA supports and advances the distinct, unique nature of Chiropractic

as a non-surgical and drug- less healing science, art, and philosophy.

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