Eighty percent or more of the people who visit a chiropractor, do so because of back pain.
Back pain can arise from a variety of conditions. The chief among them are:
A chiropractor can pinpoint the cause of the back pain. He or she can make the necessary spinal adjustments to relieve the problem. In some cases, a chiropractor will recommend that you seek medical attention for your situation.
The 1994 Federal Agency for Health Policy and Research (AHCPR) guidelines for low-back pain concluded that spinal manipulation, chiropractic's primary treatment technique, is one of only three treatments whose effectiveness is substantiated by rigorous research.
According to a 1992 RAND Corp. study, patients see a chiropractor primarily for low back pain and neck pain. Because back pain is so pervasive in our society, a recent study published in the British Medical Journal pointing out that back pain doesn't go away that easily confirmed what chiropractors have always known. Only 25 percent of low back pain sufferers had fully recovered 12 months after their first visit to a general practitioner, the study said. This low number is in conflict with the commonly-held notion that low back pain episodes go away by themselves after a month. Doctors of chiropractic have long understood the cyclic nature of low back pain.
In 1999, Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Kansas in August 1999, presented a study aimed at determining the cost and effectiveness of treating back pain with chiropractic compared with other techniques. The results showed that 38 percent of the patients chose to seek chiropractic care rather than medical care. The results showed that chiropractic was more cost-effective than anesthesiology; neurosurgery; neurology; registered physical therapy; orthopedic reconstructive surgery; physical medicine and rehabilitation; and rheumatology. The study also showed that most of the chiropractic expenses 89%, were related directly to patient care, while only 45 percent of the medical costs were related to treatment of the condition with remainder of the costs being for diagnostic procedures. The study had excluded any costs for hospitalization, surgery, or any fees paid to orthopedists or neurosurgeons for costs associated with surgery. Without these additional costs being included in the study, the costs related to medical care were reported much lower than they actually were, and the savings from chiropractic care was actually much larger.
Chiropractors points out this study as vindication of their long-held view, "Patients suffering from back problems are in much better, and cost effective hands with chiropractic care."
A research journal, the “Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics” published a study that showed high levels of patient satisfaction for those who went to chiropractors with what was classified as severe to moderate pain in either the back or neck. A total of 369 patients were sampled who had gone to chiropractors with these problems. These individuals were asked to complete surveys tracking all kinds of information from the type and severity of their problem to their level of satisfaction with care.
The results showed a very positive response from the study group in both the results they felt and their overall level of satisfaction with their care. The results of the published study summed it up best; “Based on the results of this survey, it seems that patients suffering from back and or neck complaints experience chiropractic care as an effective means of resolving or ameliorating pain and functional impairments. Moreover, the patients surveyed demonstrated a high degree of satisfaction with the care they received. Numerous other studies have demonstrated that chiropractic is as effective, if not more effective than conventional medical management of such complaints.”
Preventing Low-Back Pain
Next Topic: Back & Neck Problems
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