February 23, 2010 ~ A bipartisan group of Congressmen, who are also chiropractic supporters, sent a letter to Secretary of Defense Robert Gates urging him to consider several recommendations to improve clinical trials that the Department of Defense (DoD) will conduct to examine the effects of chiropractic for active-duty military. Chiropractic care is a benefit provided to the Armed Forces at more than 50 military treatment facilities (MTFs).
Citing a 1995 DoD demonstration project that stated “patients who saw doctors of chiropractic were significantly more likely to show self-reported improvement in health than patients who saw traditional providers,” the letter calls on Secretary Gates to conduct the trials through the National Institutes of Health’s National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine.
The group also urged Secretary Gates to work closely with the chiropractic profession in administrating the trials by including expert representatives from U.S. colleges or universities that are members of the Association of Chiropractic Colleges.
Finally, the letter recommends that treating clinicians in the study be limited to doctors of chiropractic currently practicing at MTFs within the DoD health care system or within the Department of Veterans Affairs health care system.
The letter was signed by:
- Rep. Walter Jones (R-NC)
- Rep. David Loebsack (D-IA)
- Rep. Patrick Murphy (D-PA)
- Rep. Mike Rogers (R-AL)
- Rep. Carol Shea-Porter (D-NH)
- Rep. Robert Wittman (R-VA)
The clinical trials are being conducted as a result of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year (FY) 2010.
“Doctors of chiropractic everywhere should appreciate the support of these members of Congress in assuring that chiropractic care—which offers low-cost, safe and highly efficient treatment for neuromusculoskeletal disorders—is available to the brave men and women of our Armed Forces,” said Dr. Rick McMichael, president of the American Chiropractic Association (ACA). “In addition, DCs can provide rehabilitation services and counsel patients on injury prevention and health promotion through proper diet and physical activity. This holistic approach will help keep our troops fit and combat-ready.”
“ACA is committed to working with Congress and the Department of Defense to ensure these trials are conducted in a fair and timely manner that will provide the best data possible in order to bring valuable and much needed care to those who sacrifice so greatly on our behalf,” he added.
To read the Congressional letter: