Most common questions related to the chiropractic care delivery are its quality and effectiveness and the cost of a chiropractic treatment. While more research is needed to determine the efficacy and health potency, the conducted studies show that patients who practice chiropractic are less likely to endure hospitalization and other activities connected with hospital care. Moreover, those who visit a chiropractor have lower health care costs compared to the ones who seek regular medical care.
Healthcare is today’s most sought and most debated buzzword. Whether you are a patient or a family member, you are interested in the process of how the health problem is managed and solved. In an age of increasing technology and medical advances that are followed by the never-ending bureaucracy and lack of primary care providers, there is a growing need of focusing on wellness and health optimization, which are the top priorities of chiropractors.
In this article we will look at the most common reasons why chiropractic care is considered to be the most cost effective method to a unique approach to healthcare and wellbeing of patients. Although chiropractic care meets scientific scrutiny every day, it is slowly revealing that it is a complimentary addition to the regular medical care model and that it could be a part of a wonderful synergy with the usual and necessary medical treatment. Only then can a patient be sure that his/her wellbeing is taken into consideration and that he/she is not just another medical statistic data.
The Treatment Of Low Back Pain
Spinal manipulation or adjustment and treatment of surrounding structures continue to be the main and unique focus of chiropractic work. Many studies concluded that chiropractic approach and methods are more effective for the low back pain treatment. In fact, the long-term outcomes are usually connected with the prevention of chronicity and the lack of additional medical attention. As most recent survey shows, doctors of chiropractic provide qualified care to around 36 million Americans (or around 15% of the adult population).
In a comparative study conducted by Mitchell Haas, Rajiv Sharma and Miron Stano (2005), the researchers have looked at the patients with acute and chronic low back pain and the cost-effectiveness of medical and chiropractic care. Around 2780 patients with low back pain, 60 chiropractors and 111 medical doctors were included in a comparative study over a 2-year period. The results showed that chiropractic office costs were relatively higher compared when undergoing the regular medical care, but the outcomes in functionality and patient satisfaction were much better. This lead to the conclusion that chiropractic care alongside with medical treatment can be a successful medical approach for patient with low back pain.
Low back pain is one of the leading cause of disability among patients around the world. As lifetime prevalence of low back pain is between 70 and 80%, it is considered a global health problem. CLBP or chronic low back pain is a usual consequence of low back pain and represents considerable costs for society. Although there is still a paucity of evidence showing chiropractic care is more cost effective compared to the usual medical treatment, more and more studies show significant economic advantage of manual therapy for the treatment of low back pain (Vavrek et al., 2014).
The Treatment Of Migraine Patients
More and more studies show that migraines and chiropractic care go hand-in-hand. If you are among 39 million Americans who suffer from it, you know that sometimes nothing helps when migraine hits. Migraines are on a third place of common illnesses in the world and the reason why 90% of 12% of the population who suffers from migraines cannot function normally during an attack. Most of the primary medical care is based on pills and other prescribed medications, where side effects can be irritating and distressing. However, some other forms of treatments become available for the patients, and among them chiropractic care contributes the most to the overall patient’s well being.
MEDLINE, CRAC and CHIROLARS, and other medical databases were searched online or manually to assess the cost-effectiveness of chiropractic care for migraines headaches. The overall results are encouraging when treated by chiropractors. This can be because chiropractic care is focused not on pain relief only but also on general wellbeing. Migraines are an indirect consequence of a neck spine not properly aligned so manual spinal manipulation can have a profound effect on migraines.
Boline et al. (1995) found that pills and other pain medication had short-term effectiveness resulting in regular buying every couple of weeks – along with the side effects. Group that used medications showed no improvement in wellness or even slight worsening. On the other hand, the spinal manipulation therapy showed little less than 35% reduction in headache intensity, about 40% in headache frequency, around 30% in medication usage and a 16% improvement in functionality.
All the results should be taken carefully and critically but still there are a growing number of evidences that chiropractic care can help people with migraines and tension headaches to relieve the pain using other methods other than regular pill subscriptions.
The Treatment Of Musculoskeletal Back Pain
Musculoskeletal pain is pain that affects the muscles, ligaments and bones. Daily activities that result in wear and tear, trauma to an area, repetitive movements and postural strain can be a possible cause of this kind of pain. The symptoms usually include muscles twitching and burning with a feeling of overall body ache, fatigue and sleep disturbance. The usual treatment includes medications such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs).
There are not so many studies that investigates the correlation between the effectiveness of chiropractic care and musculoskeletal back pain. Still, the existing ones show a modest connection with economic outcomes. When combined with clinical treatments, chiropractic services can provide an additional option for patients with no additional expenses.
When using prescription drugs that numb pain, patients often think that their condition is less severe than it actually is, which results in postponing the healing process. Patients can be led to think they are healed and stop using medications, which can end in catastrophic consequence and permanent injury.
In 2016 the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recognized the benefits of non-pharmacologic alternatives when treating the musculoskeletal back pain while the Joint Commission, the organization that authorizes more than 20.000 health care systems in the U.S., acknowledged the value of chiropractic approach to pain management. Chiropractic services focus on the effects on general health and practitioners, who are also called Chiropractors, are trained to provide both spinal hygiene and lifestyle counseling during the treatments.
The epidemic of medication overuse has also led scientists and health groups to reconsider alternatives when treating common diseases and pains. Chiropractic therapy is among top alternatives that is growing in its value and cost-effectiveness.
Chiropractic Care Has Been Recognized As Cost-Effective By International Health Groups Worldwide
“Doctors of chiropractic are a vital part of our nation’s health care system. Your services have been proven both effective and cost-effective and every day you help countless Americans with a variety of health conditions.”
~ Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of Health and Human Services 2011 National Chiropractic Legislative Conference
In the current economic climate, one of the top priorities for any health care method is to be addressed as the cost-effective one. Many scientists and researchers are spending their resources to identify the medical approaches that bring wanted results without spending too much money. This also includes the studies that involve chiropractic work and services.
Despite the lower number of critically reviewed studies, in 2007 the American Pain Society and American College of Physicians recognized spinal adjustment provided by chiropractors as an effective medical treatment for both acute and chronic low back pain. In 2011 this was endorsed by the other similar chiropractic methods like rehabilitation, exercise, and acupuncture. In 2010, according to Daniel Redwood, DC, a professor at Cleveland Chiropractic College-Kansas City, The Center for Health Value Innovation concluded that “the addition of chiropractic coverage for the treatment of low back and neck pain at prices typically payable in US employer-sponsored health plans will likely increase value-for-dollar.”
This all shows that when used individual or better yet with a regular hospital care, chiropractic care has a tendency to be more time-effective and cost-effective method than hospital care alone. Which means less unexpected hospital costs and unceasing drug subscriptions costs. To be precise, chiropractic care reduced annual spending by around $300 compared to medical physician care for the neck pain, $75 for the low back pain, around $430 for the spine-related issues and around $400 for the spinal, hip and shoulder pain.
Comparison To The Medical Insurances
Escalating hospital prices coupled with expensive medical treatments have motivated the consumer to find alternatives when having medical issues. Not only them, but employers and many health insurance carriers are also trying to find the approaches to reduce the high medical costs without losing the quality of care. One way to reduce the costs is to seek a chiropractic care. For many medical conditions, including children’s diseases, chiropractic methods are effective and pocket-friendly. In some cases, they are the only care you need without unnecessary hospitalization and surgery. In a study conducted by Carey et al. (1995) more than 95% of patients were far more satisfied with the provided care. This can all lead to the conclusion that chiropractic care is a perfect combination of low cost treatment and high quality care delivery.
There are many factors which can influence the cost of chiropractic care but compared to the regular medical care they are more affordable on the long run. If you decide to seek the alternative help because you are sick of never-ending medical costs and persisting pain, search for the chiropractor in your area who can help you potentially ease the pain. If you have any concerns and questions regarding conditions that can be treated by chiropractic care, you can check some of the articles that cover that topic. For any questions and assessments, contact us and we will be happy to help you. Remember that you do not need to learn how to live with pain – if there is a solution, we will find it for you!
References & Resources
Vavrek DA, Sharma R, Haas M. Cost analysis related to dose-response of spinal manipulative therapy for chronic low back pain: Outcomes from a randomized controlled trial [randomized controlled trial].J Manipulative Physiol Ther. Jun 2014; 37(5):300-311.3.
Moore CS, Sibbritt DW, Adams J. A critical review of manual therapy use for headache disorders: prevalence, profiles, motivations, communication and self-reported effectiveness. BMC Neurol. 2017; 17:1–11
Moore C, Adams J, Leaver A, Lauche R, Sibbritt D. The treatment of migraine patients within chiropractic: analysis of a nationally representative survey of 1869 chiropractors. BMC Complement Altern Med. 2017 Dec 4; 17(1):519
Boline, Patrick D., Kassem Kassak, Gert Bronfort, Craig Nelson, and Alfred V. Anderson. 1995. “Spinal Manipulation vs. Amitriptycline for the Treatment of Chronic Tension-Type Headaches: A Randomized Clinical Trial.” Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics 18, no. 3: 148-154.