Chiropractic is Cost-Effective in Treating Chronic Back Pain
The above is a direct quote
from a headline that appeared in of all places, the November 17, 2005,
Medical News Today. The article, also picked up by UPI news and several
other sources, was reporting on a new study published in the October 2005
issue of the scientific journal, The Journal of Manipulative and
Physiological Therapeutics (JMPT).
this study 2780 patients with mechanical low-back pain referred themselves
to 60 doctors of chiropractic and 111 medical doctors. These cases
were reviewed for effectiveness of care and for costs. One of the articles
noted that back pain care in the United States alone is estimated to reach
$48 billion this year, and, at any given time, 80 percent of the U.S.
population suffers from back pain.
The results of the study
showed several interesting facts. With regards to the outcomes, the
study showed that both the acute and chronic patients showed better outcomes
in pain and disability reduction and higher satisfaction with their care
after undergoing chiropractic care, as compared to medical care.
The costs of the care for the
medical and chiropractic showed different results depending on the usage.
Without adding the costs of any over-the-counter drugs, hospitalization, or
surgical costs, when you simply compared the costs of in-office
chiropractic to in-office medical care, the chiropractic care was slightly
more expensive. If you then add in the additional costs for any
referrals made by the chiropractor or the medical doctor, the chiropractic
care costs for chronic patients were then 16 percent lower than medical care
The authors of the study,
noting that the satisfaction for the chiropractic care was higher, and the
overall total costs were lower, made a concluding statement urging more
chiropractic utilization in the health care system. They stated, "With
their mission to increase value and respond to patient preferences, health
care organizations and policy makers need to reevaluate the appropriateness
of chiropractic as a treatment option for low-back pain."