A new state law has allowed chiropractors to practice in Arizona without a doctor’s signature.
A group of chiropracts, chiropracters, chiropractor advocates and chiropractologists says the bill is a big step forward for patients.
1 / 19 AP The Arizona chiropractical board says it plans to vote this month on whether to approve a bill allowing the practice in the state.
The bill is expected to pass in the Arizona House of Representatives, and it would take effect on Jan. 1.
If the bill passes the Senate, the state will have the first licensed chiropractor in the country.
Arizona chiropractor-practitioners have long fought for the right to practice without a physician’s signature, saying the practice helps patients recover from illnesses.
The legislation, sponsored by Sen. Mike Noel, R-Yuma, would allow licensed chiropractor practices in Arizona, although it would be subject to the approval of the Arizona Department of Health.
The state currently allows licensed chiropodists to practice only with the signature of a licensed chiroprophist, according to Noel.
The legislation also allows chiropractists to treat people with physical disabilities without a physical exam, without a license and without obtaining a prescription.
The chiropracting board said the bill will protect patients’ rights and will allow chiropractics to do more to care for their patients, including treating chronic pain, as well as helping people with back pain and spinal disorders.
“This bill provides a strong foundation for our state to become a world leader in health care access and care, and is a strong step in ensuring that Arizona remains a leading destination for chiropractal care,” Noel said in a statement.
Arizona also has the highest rate of chiropractor deaths in the nation, according the National Center for Health Statistics.
It also has one of the highest rates of spinal injuries in the United States.
Some chiropractory-related injuries in Arizona are not preventable.
In 2012, there were about 5,000 chiropractically licensed practitioners in the State, according state data.