Letter to the Editor

Feb 15, 2023 at 04:44 pm by Pepper

Dr. James D. Raker


Dear Editor,

My name is James Raker and I have been a chiropractic physician for 35 years, practicing at the Ark-La-Tex Health Center in Texarkana, Arkansas.  I have personally witnessed the benefit of spinal manipulations on patients and know that they have been able to avoid drugs & surgery because of chiropractic treatments.

I am reaching out to Arkansas Medical News readers who I understand to be primarily physicians and nurses and asking, do you refer patients to chiropractic care?  I have worked with and treated several physicians in my practice. Those I do treat, know the benefits. For your patients, appropriate conditions for referral would be those with low back pain, neck pain, headaches and pain/tingling into the arms and legs.

Here’s some history you may or may not be aware of.  In the 1970's the American Medical Association (AMA) tried to destroy the chiropractic profession by literally branding them quacks and telling all member MD's that to associate with a DC (Doctor of Chiropractic) in any way would result in a loss of hospital privileges, expulsion from any medical society, and other consequential actions. After a decade long court battle titled Wilk vs AMA, the Illinois Supreme Court found the AMA, AOA, ACR, and AHA all guilty of conspiring to illegally boycott and eliminate the chiropractic profession and ordered a permanent injunction against further activity.

Where does that leave the U.S. medical system some 40 years later? Somewhat better. However, even though the AMA later published that "spinal manipulation" was an accepted treatment of spinal conditions, and every medical guideline written since the 1990's from the U.S., England, Australia, Europe, etc... including the most recent one by the American College of Physicians in 2017, have stated the same treatment recommendations for low back pain which are:


  • First: NSAIDS and manipulation.
  • Second: opioids and other meds.
  • Third: injections.
  • Fourth: surgery


BUT how is this done in real life? Often the first recommendation is skipped and we go for the second through fourth recommendations.  This, in part, has contributed to the opioid crisis that has plagued our nation the last few years. One way to turn that around is consider referring patients to chiropractic care.

Consider this:  Chiropractic Physicians are just that - physicians with general practitioner skills specializing in musculoskeletal problems. They are working within the VA Hospital system and active military bases abroad. DCs are accepted as providers by the Federal Work Comp, Medicare, Medicaid, all commercial insurances. They are accepted to do Federal Dept of Transportation physicals, and private pilot physicals. Many DCs are even board certified in Radiology, Internal Medicine, Occupational Medicine, etc....  DCs are working in hospitals, on the Olympic Medical Team, and most pro sport teams have DCs on staff.

I’m asking Arkansas medical professionals to consider sending more patient referrals to DCs.  If we work together, we can help certain patients avoid opioids and surgery. DC malpractice insurance is cheaper than any other kind of doctor, so we know safety is not an issue. We are trained to take the musculoskeletal cases that most general practitioners hate, and do very well with them using the recommended treatment of manipulation (which physical therapists can't do legally) combined with exercise to have generally better results than other groups of practitioners.

I am well connected with DCs all over the state.  I’d be happy to recommend a DC in your area who can help your patients who would benefit from chiropractic care. Please call or email me using the information below.  I’d be happy to discuss how we can partner together to help some of your patients.


James D. Raker, DC, FADP, CME, CWP







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