District Court Issues Favorable Judgment to Firm’s Matt Wood in Landmark Chiropractor vs. Acupuncturist Case

By Weisbart Springer Hayes

In a significant legal victory, firm partner Matt Wood won a favorable judgment for the Texas Chiropractic Association (TCA) and the Texas Board of Chiropractic Examiners (TBCE) after a four‑day bench trial against the Texas Association of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (TAAOM).  TAAOM is a trade association representing licensed acupuncturists in Texas.  The case involved disputes over the legal scope of practice of 6,000 chiropractors across the state of Texas.

TAAOM filed suit challenging the legal authority of Texas chiropractors to use acupuncture in their scope of practice.  TAAOM also challenged the qualifications and competence of chiropractors to safely use acupuncture needles.  TAAOM argued that acupuncture needles were “incisive” under Texas law and also sought to ban dry needling, a technique widely employed by physical therapists, physicians, and chiropractors alike.  TCA countered that Texas law permits chiropractors to use limited forms of acupuncture, and that the TBCE’s rules set appropriate training and permitting requirements for chiropractors to use acupuncture.

After a four-day bench trial, a Travis County District Judge signed a final judgment upholding the legal authority of chiropractors to practice chiropractic acupuncture and dismissed all of TAAOM’s claims.

Return to News & Insights