Chiropractors and acupuncturists who have lobbied for a bigger role in treating pain have won a preliminary endorsement from federal health officials.
The Food and Drug Administration released proposed changes Wednesday to its blueprint on educating health care providers about treating pain. The guidelines now recommend that doctors get information about chiropractic care and acupuncture as therapies that might help patients avoid prescription opioids.
“[Health care providers] should be knowledgeable about the range of available therapies, when they may be helpful, and when they should be used as part of a multidisciplinary approach to pain management,” the agency wrote in the proposal.
The suggested changes come as chiropractors and other alternative medicine providers have stepped up lobbying Congress and state legislatures to elevate their role in treating chronic pain. They’ve scored several big victories in recent years.