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Biomechanical Lesion: A Better Diagnostic Term for the Profession

By |September 19, 2012|Philosophy|

By John R. Bomar, DC
Source Dynamic Chiropractic

For those who may not be aware, the World Health Organization’s latest revision of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-10) uses a new primary term to describe the major condition treated by chiropractic physicians.

The new term is biomechanical lesion and the code is M99, with decimal designations used for various sections of the body – e.g., M99.01, Biomechanical lesion, cervical region. It is thought that the ICD-10 system will be required sometime in 2014.

More than a few chiropractors, myself included, feel this change in nomenclature is much-needed. The present term, non-allopathic lesion (739 series), completely fails to communicate the nature of the problems we address daily in our offices, and the term non-allopathic implies the concept of “non-medical,” as if what we treat has little to do with a person’s health. Such a maldescriptive phrase does nothing to clear up the confusion and misconceptions associated with our work – misconstructions that only contribute to the apprehension and fear many feel when considering our profession.

Such vague and indistinct terminology also discourages appropriate referral from other health care providers. Important also is the current void in understanding that exists between chiropractic providers and the insurance industry. Complicating all this is the insistence by some in our profession that others conform to our definition of the word subluxation, which is in conflict with the accepted medical definition. The natural reaction in others to such uncertainty, obscurity, confusion and doubt is a hesitancy to involve oneself in such dealings, further isolating our profession and hindering growth. (more…)