Updated: Aug 11
There is no denying that back pain is the leading cause of disability worldwide. Although doctors of chiropractic (DCs) treat more than just back pain, many patients initially visit chiropractors looking for relief from this pervasive condition. In fact, 31 million Americans experience low-back pain at any given time.
A few interesting facts about back pain:
Back pain is one of the most common reasons for missed work. In fact, back pain is the second most common reason for visits to the doctor's office, outnumbered only by upper-respiratory infections.One-half of all working Americans admit to having back pain symptoms each year.Experts estimate that as much as 80% of the population will experience a back problem at some time in their lives.Most cases of back pain are mechanical or non-organic-meaning they are not caused by serious conditions, such as inflammatory arthritis, infection, fracture or cancer.Americans spend at least $50 billion each year on back pain-and that's just for the more easily identified costs.
With today's growing emphasis on quality care, clinical outcomes and cost effectiveness, spinal manipulation is receiving increased attention.
Patient Satisfaction/Clinical Effectiveness
In 2017, the American College of Physicians released updated low back pain guidelines that recommend first using non-drug treatments, such as spinal manipulation, for acute and chronic low back pain.Similarly, a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in 2017 supports the use of spinal manipulative therapy as a first line treatment for acute low back pain.95% of past-year chiropractic users say it's effective, and 97% of past-year chiropractic users are likely to see a chiropractor if they have neck/back pain.In a consumer survey, chiropractic outperformed all other back pain treatments, including prescription medication, yoga, pilates, and over-the-counter medication therapies.With prescription pain drug abuse now classified as an epidemic17 in the United States and the number of spinal fusions soaring 500% over the last decade, the essential services provided by chiropractors represent a primary care approach for the prevention, diagnosis and conservative management of back pain and spinal disorders that can often enable patients to reduce or avoid the need for these riskier treatments.Chiropractors' collaborative, whole person-centered approach reflects the changing realities of health care delivery and fits well into Accountable Care Organization (ACO) and patient-centered, medical home (PCMH) models bringing greater clinical efficiency, patient satisfaction and cost savings. In 2015, the Joint Commission, the organization that accredits more than 20,000 health care systems in the U.S. (including every major hospital), recognized the value of non-drug approaches by adding chiropractic to its pain management standard.