Chiropractors Treating Diabetic Foot Ulcers?

July 31, 2023
Chiropractors Diabetic Foot Ulcers (DFU)

It was bound to happen. Chiropractors have been offering “hyperbaric oxygen” treatments with inflatable, low pressure altitude devices for years – for many different medical conditions (even though in some states, they can’t legally prescribe oxygen and even though inflatable chambers, when used with oxygen, breach the applicable fire and human use standards.

Some chiropractors offer treatment for diabetic neuropathy as you can see from a simple internet search. Now some chiropractors are branching out to treat diabetic foot ulcers (DFUs) by seeking to hire Nurse Practitioners to perform debridement and place “skin subs” (cellular and/or tissue-based products – CTPs).  A company that trains and helps place NPs with wound management training told me they’ve been approached to place NPs in chiropractic offices to provide these services. I hope Nurse Practitioner organizations will advise their members against this, since chiropractors do not have the necessary background or prescriptive authority to manage DFUs and their associated complications.

Of course, not all MDs or podiatrists are “doing the right thing” for patients with DFUs. I agree that it takes more than initials after your name to properly manage chronic ulcers of any type. However, I’d caution NPs about entering clinical partnerships with practitioners who do not have prescriptive authority or the clinical background to diagnose and coordinate the care of patients with chronic ulcerations.

I am highly suspicious that this is being driven by the manufacturers of CTPs, and is yet another indication that the CTP industry is out of control. That might be the most worrisome aspect of this trend.


Caroline Fife, MD

Dr. Fife is Co-Founder and Chief Medical Officer of Intellicure, Executive Director of the US Wound Registry, and Editor of Today’s Wound Clinic.

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