What's the cheapest way to fight back pain?
The association between the use of chiropractic care and costs of care among older Medicare patients with chronic low back pain and multiple comorbidities. When diving into this study there was a retrospective investigation into 2006-2012 Medicare files on the specific group of multiple comorbid 66 year old patients with chronic low back pain. The treatments investigated were: chiropractic care alone, conventional medical care alone and a combination of medical and chiropractic care. The treatments were tracked over 4 sessions for each of the groups with the goal of tracking overall health and response to low back pain. The results for this study speaks for itself.
The study found that the group who received only chiropractic care had the lowest overall cost of care, shorter episodes of pain and significantly less chance of surgery. The next group was the combination group of chiropractic and medical care for treatment. Their costs were in the middle of these groups with longer episodes of pain and moderate chance for surgery. The last group was the conventional medical care group which incurred the highest cost of treatment, the longest episodes of pain and the highest chance of surgery.
The results of this study shows that a typical track for treatment of Medicare patients for overall health and chronic low back pain should be the first option. Most times I find that our office is the last chance to fix problems instead of the first opportunity. Once the problem is fixed then maintenance of the body is always going to be beneficial to prevent significant future issues as well.
Weeks et al (2016), Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics