MN Governor Signs Recodification Confirming Chiropractic Scope of Practice
Written by Editor   
Thursday, June 05, 2014 08:25 AM

In a state troubled by the chiropractic scope controversy, a definitive victory has been scored for chiropractic with the recent signing of the recodification confirming Minnesota’s Chiropractic Scope of Practice.

The scope, which has met with strong opposition at times, was designed to “recodify the existing scope of practice, and more specifically defines what chiropractors can perform,” according to the Minnesota Chiropractic Association (MCA). 

The chiropractic scope of practice was first enacted in 1919 with substantial changes in 1927 and 1975.  Over the years there have been advances in knowledge, technology, and education practices and requirements.  Enforcement has kept pace with these changes, however, the chiropractic scope has not.

The changes would modernize, centralize and strengthen the chiropractic scope of practice provisions in law and to add clarity to the current law, resulting in ensured fairness in enforcement and a better understanding of professional requirements by the public and the chiropractic profession.



Some of the significant changes in Minnesota's law include:

Subdivision 1. Definitions. For the purposes of sections <statute_ref>148.01 to <statute_ref>148.10:

    (1) "chiropractic" is defined as the science of adjusting any abnormal articulations 
of the human body, especially those of the spinal column, for the purpose of giving 
freedom of action to impinged nerves that may cause pain or deranged function; and
means the health care discipline that recognizes the innate recuperative power of the body 
to heal itself without the use of drugs or surgery by identifying and caring for vertebral 
subluxations and other abnormal articulations by emphasizing the relationship between 
structure and function as coordinated by the nervous system and how that relationship 
affects the preservation and restoration of health;

    (2) "chiropractic services" means the evaluation and facilitation of structural, 
biomechanical, and neurological function and integrity through the use of adjustment, 
manipulation, mobilization, or other procedures accomplished by manual or mechanical 
forces applied to bones or joints and their related soft tissues for correction of vertebral 
subluxation, other abnormal articulations, neurological disturbances, structural alterations, 
or biomechanical alterations, and includes, but is not limited to, manual therapy and 
mechanical therapy as defined in section 146.23;

    (3) "abnormal articulation" means the condition of opposing bony joint surfaces and 
their related soft tissues that do not function normally, including subluxation, fixation, 
adhesion, degeneration, deformity, dislocation, or other pathology that results in pain or 
disturbances within the nervous system, results in postural alteration, inhibits motion, 
allows excessive motion, alters direction of motion, or results in loss of axial loading 
efficiency, or a combination of these;

    (4) "diagnosis" means the physical, clinical, and laboratory examination of the 
patient, and the use of diagnostic services for diagnostic purposes within the scope of the 
practice of chiropractic described in sections 148.01 to 148.10;

    (5) "diagnostic services" means clinical, physical, laboratory, and other diagnostic 
measures, including diagnostic imaging that may be necessary to determine the presence 
or absence of a condition, deficiency, deformity, abnormality, or disease as a basis for 
evaluation of a health concern, diagnosis, differential diagnosis, treatment, further 
examination, or referral;

    (6) "therapeutic services" means rehabilitative therapy as defined in Minnesota 
Rules, part 2500.0100, subpart 11, and all of the therapeutic, rehabilitative, and preventive 
sciences and procedures for which the licensee was subject to examination under section 
148.06. When provided, therapeutic services must be performed within a practice 
where the primary focus is the provision of chiropractic services, to prepare the patient 
for chiropractic services, or to complement the provision of chiropractic services. The 
administration of therapeutic services is the responsibility of the treating chiropractor and 
must be rendered under the direct supervision of qualified staff;

    (7) "acupuncture" means a modality of treating abnormal physical conditions 
by stimulating various points of the body or interruption of the cutaneous integrity 
by needle insertion to secure a reflex relief of the symptoms by nerve stimulation as 
utilized as an adjunct to chiropractic adjustment. Acupuncture may not be used as an 
independent therapy or separately from chiropractic services. Acupuncture is permitted 
under section 148.01 only after registration with the board which requires completion 
of a board-approved course of study and successful completion of a board-approved 
national examination on acupuncture. Renewal of registration shall require completion of 
board-approved continuing education requirements in acupuncture. The restrictions of 
section 147B.02, subdivision 2, apply to individuals registered to perform acupuncture 
under this section; and

    (2) (8) "animal chiropractic diagnosis and treatment" means treatment that includes 
identifying and resolving vertebral subluxation complexes, spinal manipulation, and 
manipulation of the extremity articulations of nonhuman vertebrates. Animal chiropractic 
diagnosis and treatment does not include:
    (i) performing surgery;
    (ii) dispensing or administering of medications; or
    (iii) performing traditional veterinary care and diagnosis.


Sec. 5. Minnesota Statutes 2012, section 148.01, subdivision 2, is amended to read:
    Subd. 2. Exclusions. The practice of chiropractic is not the practice of medicine, 
    surgery, or osteopathy, or physical therapy.

Sec. 6. Minnesota Statutes 2012, section 148.01, is amended by adding a subdivision 
to read:
    Subd. 4. Practice of chiropractic. An individual licensed to practice under section 
148.06 is authorized to perform chiropractic services, acupuncture, and therapeutic 
services, and to provide diagnosis and to render opinions pertaining to those services for 
the purpose of determining a course of action in the best interests of the patient, such as a 
treatment plan, appropriate referral, or both.