Chiropractors across the United States are reporting an uptick in business. With the economy still sluggish and people conscientious about spending, more people are embracing the power and cost effectiveness of preventative healthcare and wellness. While annual checkups with your physician are highly recommended and medical treatments obviously important for many conditions, visiting a chiropractor regularly can potentially manage neuromusculoskeletal issues before they require long term medication.
Pain is generally classified in three levels: acute, which is usually short-term and often the result of an injury; recurrent, which comes and goes, like an achy knee when it gets really humid; or chronic, which lasts three months or more.
Chronic pain is nearly an epidemic in the United States. A 2010 survey found that 34 percent of those polled complained of recurrent pain and nearly twenty percent said they experienced chronic pain. Almost half the respondents had acute pain. The cost of this pain in terms of human suffering and actual dollars is significant, in both lost work days and medical costs.
With an already overburdened healthcare system, the need for cost effective care becomes even more needed. A study conducted by the Department of Orthopaedics, the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth and Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center found that patients who availed themselves of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM), which includes chiropractic treatments, spent significantly less money on a yearly basis in both general care and spinal care.
An article published in December 2010 compared a Blue Cross Blue Shield of Tennessee claims analysis for common back pain between medical and chiropractic care. The study concluded that PPaid costs for episodes of care initiated with a Doctor of Chiropractic were almost 40 percent less than episodes initiated with a physician.”
In 2011, Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of Health and Human Services said at a National Chiropractic Legislative Conference, “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.”
So it is not surprising that as the value of chiropractic care is increasingly supported by research, more and more doctors are referring patients to chiropractors to try and relieve pain—especially chronic lower back pain—rather than using potentially addictive medications, which can also be very expensive. Plus, even though medication may temporarily alleviate or hide the pain, it doesn’t address the underlying injury. Chiropractor can both ease your pain as well as help heal the underlying problem—if you are patient. The treatments are not a quick fix so the healing will be gradual and not overnight.
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