Since it was founded in 1895, chiropractic has offered patients a clear alternative to hospitalizations, surgeries, and prescription drugs. Traditional medicine only works to mask the pain, not treat the root cause. Chiropractic, however, aims to put the body back in alignment so it can heal property – alleviating the cause of the pain or the injury.
As a chiropractor practicing for nearly 20 years, I have heard people state that they can’t afford chiropractic care. However, I would argue that chiropractic is not only more effective than traditional medical care in treating many common maladies, it is also more cost-effective.
Here are 10 reasons why:
1. More than ever, chiropractic care is covered by programs such as Medicare, workers’ compensation and the Veterans Administration system, as well as most group health plans.
2. Chiropractic addresses the root cause of back pain, rather prescribing drugs to cover up symptoms. Yet, back pain is the second leading cause for physician visits. It is most prevalent chronic medical condition and is the number-one cause of long-term disability.
3. A study by the Journal of the American Medical Association concluded that health plans that included chiropractic care had 31 percent fewer back surgeries and 15 percent lower per capita hospital costs. Furthermore, overall health care expenditures were lower for the subjects with chiropractic coverage.
4. When they studied doctors of chiropractic serving as primary care physicians in a health maintenance organization (HMO), the cost outcome (as well as clinical outcome) was less than with medical doctor care.
5. In that same Illinois HMO study, they found a 43 percent reduction in patient hospital admissions, a 58 percent reduction in hospital days, a 43 percent reduction in outpatient surgeries and procedures, and a 51 percent reduction in pharmaceutical costs for patients who used a doctor of chiropractic instead of M.D.
6. An article in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine reported: “We found that patients who were seen by chiropractors during the initial episode of care were less likely to have a surgery, and had a shorter average duration of the initial episode.”
7. A recent systemic review found spinal manipulation therapy to be more cost-effective for neck and low back pain compared to general practitioner care, physiotherapy or exercise.
8. A study found that when a patient uses a chiropractor as his or her primary care physician instead of a medical doctor, hospital admission costs decrease by 60.2 percent, cost of days spent in the hospital decrease by 59.0 percent, and outpatient surgeries and procedures are 62.0 percent less.
9. Studies have proven that costs associated with prescription pharmaceuticals decrease by 85 percent when a patient is treated by a doctor of chiropractic compared to conventional medical care.
10. A study by Blue Cross Blue Shield found that when patients with low back pain started treatment with a doctor of chiropractic instead of a medical doctor or osteopathic physician, their costs were 40 percent less. Even when accounting for severe cases that eventually needed surgery, treatment with a DC was 20 percent less than with an MD or DO.
Our office is committed to helping patients move better, live better and feel better at every age and stage of their lives. Call our office today at 425-778-9600 for a consultation.
— Dr. Waldron