Updated: Aug 11, 2020
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.
Chiropractors are the highest rated healthcare practitioner for low-back pain treatments above physical therapists (PTs), specialist physician/MD (i.e., neurosurgeons, neurologists, orthopaedic surgeons), and primary care physician/MD (i.e., family or internal medicine).
Did you know that 60% of Americans are taking prescription drugs regularly for a variety of conditions, including opioids for pain management? That's a surprisingly high number! Many causes of neck and back pain can be treated successfully and cost effectively with quality chiropractic care.
With today's growing emphasis on quality care, clinical outcomes and cost effectiveness, spinal manipulation is receiving increased attention.
A 2007 report from ACN Group, a subsidiary of UnitedHealth Group (the nation's largest health insurer), has recently become publicly available. After demonstrating that orthopedic conditions account for more medical expenses than any other condition (surpassing even cardiology), and that back and neck pain account for a far higher percentage of orthopedic expenses than any other orthopedic condition, the report goes on to show that chiropractic services for back and neck pain are significantly more cost-effective than all competing approaches. When care is initiated with a chiropractor, the severity adjusted total episode cost is lower than for care initiated with a primary care medical physician, and drastically lower than for care initiated with an orthopedist, physical medicine and rehabilitation physician, or other practitioner. -- Elton D (2007), ACN Group (UnitedHealth Group) Report
Low back pain initiated with a doctor of chiropractic (DC) saves 40 percent on health care costs when compared with care initiated through a medical doctor (MD), according to a study that analyzed data from 85,000 Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) beneficiaries in Tennessee over a two-year span. The study population had open access to MDs and DCs through self-referral, and there were no limits applied to the number of MD/DC visits allowed and no differences in co-pays. Researchers estimated that allowing DC-initiated episodes of care would have led to an annual cost savings of $2.3 million for BCBS of Tennessee. They also concluded that insurance companies that restrict access to chiropractic care for low back pain treatment may inadvertently pay more for care than they would if they removed such restrictions. - Liliedahl et al (2010), Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics "Chiropractic care appeared relatively cost-effective for the treatment of chronic low-back pain. Chiropractic and medical care performed comparably for acute patients. Practice-based clinical outcomes were consistent with systematic reviews of spinal manipulative efficacy: manipulation-based therapy is at least as good as and, in some cases, better than other therapeusis." - Haas et al (2005), Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics
If you are suffering with back or neck pain call our office to schedule a no cost consultation to see if chiropractic is a good fit for you.