Collaborating Within Scope to Address the Opioid Crisis

The College of Chiropractors of Ontario (CCO) unanimously endorsed our Chiropractor Dialogue Map (or script) for engaging patients. This endorsement clarifies that chiropractors can collaborate with patients and their prescribing medical doctors (MD)s or nurse practitioners (NP)s while remaining within their scope of practice.

The Collaborative will equip these health care professionals with the information they need to refer patients to chiropractic care and other manual therapy to better manage their pain, and collaboratively coordinate a plan of care. In this video, Caroline Brereton, our CEO, shares details on how the Collaborative supports chiropractors, as well as MDs and NPs, to help address the opioid crisis.

OCA Chiropractor’s Pain Reduction Toolkit

Chiropractor Dialogue Map

Thumbnail of Chiropractor Dialogue Map
View and Download

Pain Reduction Tool
Low Back Pain

Thumbnail of Pain Reduction Tool - Low Back Pain
View and Download
Digital Fillable

Pain Reduction Tool
Neck Pain

Thumbnail of Pain Reduction Tool - Neck Pain
View and Download
Digital Fillable

Pain Reduction Tool
Shoulder Pain

Thumbnail of Pain Reduction Tool - Shoulder Pain
View and Download
Digital Fillable

Using the Chiropractor’s Toolkit to Address the Opioid Crisis

Our strategy to address the crisis is a two-part approach engaging prescribing health care professionals, including medical doctors (MD)s and nurse practitioners (NP)s, and chiropractors. It contains separate tools for each.

The Chiropractor’s Pain Reduction Toolkit is designed to help you navigate communication in patient-centred care. Specifically, it will help you collaborate with MDs and NPs, as well as communicate with your shared patients who want help managing their opioid dependency..This toolkit includes a Chiropractor Dialogue Map and three pain reduction forms to help address your patient’s low back, neck and/or shoulder pain.

The Chiropractor Dialogue Map enables you to safely begin a conversation with your patient about helping them manage their opioid prescription, while staying within the chiropractic scope of practice.

The three pain reduction forms are designed to help you share patients’ care plans with their MDs/NPs. The forms include fillable sections for you to insert your patient’s assessment, treatment plan and recommendations to communicate with their MD/NP. You can use the ‘view and download’ versions to do this manually or the ‘digital fillable’ versions to do this online.

The Chiropractor’s Pain Reduction Toolkit complements the Manual Therapy as an Evidence-Based Referral for Musculoskeletal Pain Clinical Tool, which we hired the Centre for Effective Practice (CEP) to develop. It’s designed to give MDs and NPs the confidence they need to navigate evidence-based manual therapy that can help manage their patients’ opioid dependency.

Each of your tools includes a brief overview of what an MD/NP should know in case they are not familiar with the Manual Therapy as an Evidence-Based Referral for Musculoskeletal Pain Clinical Tool.

You can use the forms to walk your patient’s MD/NP through assessment, treatment plans and recommendations for the relevant pain.

Once you complete the form you can begin communication based on your patient’s preference. You can give it to your patient to pass to their MD/NP, inviting them to contact you. Or, if your patient gives their permission, you can send the completed form directly to their MD/NP.

Check our podcast series on addressing the opioid crisis to learn more about this toolkit and how to best use it.:

Continuing Education

We partnered with the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College (CMCC) to develop and launch The Role of Chiropractic in Opioid Use Reduction, a practical continuing education (CE) course.

This CE course will help you learn how to best safeguard your patients’ health and collaborate with medical professionals in managing your patients’ opioid use.

Watch the following 60-second video to discover the value of this course to you and your patients:


Developed with leading learning practices, this course includes the following four chapters with interactive simulation:

  • Chiropractic and Pain Management
  • Opioid Facts
  • Performing Case Outreach with Other Health Professionals
  • Communicating with Other Health Professionals

Completing the CMCC course will empower you to start a potentially life-changing conversation with your patients and their medical doctor or nurse practitioner to manage, reduce, or eliminate your patient’s opioid dependency.

To self-enroll in this course, go to the CMCC CEconnect website and put ‘The Role of Chiropractic in Opioid Use Reduction 63776’ in your shopping cart.

As an OCA member, apply the coupon code (in your Jan. 13, 2021 bulletin) during your checkout transaction to obtain a 30 per cent discount on this course’s cost.

For more information or assistance, contact ce@cmcc.ca.