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Arlington, Va. – The U.S. Senate today introduced a bill, S. 4042, to modernize Medicare coverage and better meet the needs of today’s seniors by increasing access to services provided by doctors of chiropractic. An identical bipartisan-supported bill in the House currently has 130 cosponsors.
Sponsored by Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) with Sens. Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) and Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) as original cosponsors, the Chiropractic Medicare Coverage Modernization Act—which is identical in text to the House version, H.R. 2654—would give Medicare beneficiaries access to all covered Medicare benefits available from their chiropractors, provided the services are allowed under the doctor’s state license.
Medicare beneficiaries are currently covered for only one chiropractic service—manual manipulation of the spine—and forced to pay for additional services out of pocket or to seek those services from a different type of provider, requiring more time, travel and expense.
“Medicare beneficiaries want to lead active lives, but as we age musculoskeletal problems become more common. Access to chiropractic’s safe, patient-centered and evidence-based nondrug approach to back pain, neck pain and other musculoskeletal conditions provides options to those who wish to reduce or avoid pain medications and surgery,” said American Chiropractic Association (ACA) President Michele Maiers, DC, MPH, PhD.
“ACA thanks Sens. Blumenthal, Cramer, Baldwin, and Wicker for their support of this important legislation, which augments ongoing efforts to stem the opioid crisis in America by giving seniors access to effective nondrug therapies readily available in chiropractic clinics,” noted Keith Overland, DC, chair of the ACA Legislative Committee.
Both S. 4042 and H.R.2654 add no new services to Medicare. They simply allow patients to access current Medicare benefits that their chiropractors are licensed to provide. The statute that governs patient access to chiropractic in Medicare has been unchanged since 1972, limiting patient choice in a manner that does not align with most modern healthcare plans or the chiropractic profession’s role today in mainstream health care. Projections indicate the number of people age 65 and older who are eligible for Medicare–currently over 60 million–will increase by one-third over the next decade.
To learn more and find out what you can do to support passage of S. 4042/H.R. 2654, visit www.acatoday.org/Medicare.
If you’ve ever groaned, “Oh, my aching back!”, you are not alone. Back pain is one of the most common medical problems, affecting 8 out of 10 people at some point during their lives. Back pain can range from a dull, constant ache to a sudden, sharp pain. Acute back pain comes on suddenly and usually lasts from a few days to a few weeks. Back pain is called chronic if it lasts for more than three months.
Most back pain goes away on its own, though it may take a while. However, staying in bed for more than 1 or 2 days can make it worse.
If your back pain is severe or doesn’t improve after three days, you should call Dr. Carraway’s office. You should also get medical attention if you have back pain following an injury.
One of the best ways to prevent back pain is to keep your back muscles strong. Follow these steps to help protect your back and prevent back pain:
• Listen to your body, and don’t push through pain during any exercise or activities.
• Set up your work and home office ergonomically. Use a small lumbar support at your waist level when sitting, feet flat on the floor with the knees at a 90 degree angle. The middle of the computer monitor should be at eye level, and the keyboard just above your lap with the arms at 90 degrees or a little lower.
• Get up and move. Do not sit for more than one hour at a time. Take one minute each hour to stretch a different part of your body.
• Use good body mechanics when lifting or moving objects. Avoid bending over at the waist to pick things up; use your legs — never your back.
• If you have to perform heavy manual labor, take frequent breaks, and stretch throughout the day.
• Don’t be a weekend warrior. Take time to stretch every day in preparation for your favorite weekend sports.
• Strong core muscles help support your back. Simple balance exercises such as standing on one leg for one to two minutes will work your abdominal muscles without the need for sit-ups.
• If you are re-starting an exercise routine, start low and slow. See how your body adapts before increasing time or intensity.
• If you are overweight, work on losing weight to help lower the strain on your back.
Practicing healthy habits and taking preventive measures will reduce your chances of suffering from back pain, whether you are 5 years old or 75 years old. Taking care of your body before a problem appears is always the best medicine.
Did you know that chiropractors are educated in nationally accredited, four-year doctoral graduate school programs through a curriculum that includes a minimum of 4,200 hours of classroom, laboratory and clinical internship, with the average program equivalent in classroom hours to medical schools? Get the facts on chiropractic education here: