- Approximately 28 million Americans will seek chiropractic care this year.
- Chiropractic has been around for more than 100 years.
- In the western world 85% of people will be disabled by back pain at some point in their lives.
- 1992 costs associated with low back pain in the U.S. were estimated to be $60 billion.
- Nearly 30% of the U.S. population aged 18 and older have used chiropractic.
- WCB studies indicate a 45-55% saving in overall costs when treatments are provided by a chiropractors instead of a medical doctors.
- 9 out of 10 chiropractic users feel their treatment is effective.
- 58% of those using chiropractic considered it an essential part of their heath insurance package.
- “Chiropractic patients were 3 times more satisfied with their care than patients of family practice physicians.”
- “Chiropractors are now accepted as a legitimate healing profession by the public and by an increasing number of physicians.”
- “Chiropractic is a growing component of the health care sector, and it is widely used by the population.”
- 94% of all spinal manipulations are performed by chiropractors.
Research clearly disproves this myth. Chiropractic care has been consistently shown to be cost effective in a number of government and workers’ compensation board studies.
According to The Manga Report, a 1993 Canadian government commissioned study,
“There would be highly significant cost savings if more management of low-back pain was transferred from physicians to chiropractors… Users of chiropractic care have substantially lower health care costs, especially inpatient costs, than those who use medical care only.”
According to an economic analysis conducted in Richmond, Virginia,
“By every test of cost and effectiveness, the general weight of evidence shows chiropractic to provide important therapeutic benefits, at economical costs. Additionally, these benefits are achieved with apparently minimal, even negligible, impacts on the costs of health insurance.”
When the State of Florida’s Workers’ Compensation Board conducted research in 1988 on treatment costs associated with injured workers who received care from either chiropractic doctors or medical doctors, they found chiropractic treatment costs were 58.8 percent of the treatments costs rendered by medical doctors ($558 vs. $1,100 per case)
Chiropractic spinal adjustments are extremely safe when performed by chiropractors. In fact, chiropractic adjustments are among the safest treatments for most back and neck problems. According to a 1993 Ontario Ministry of Health commissioned study,
“There is no clinical or case-control study that demonstrates or even implies that chiropractic spinal manipulation is unsafe in the treatment of low-back pain. Some medical treatments are equally safe, but others are unsafe and generate iatrogenic (doctor-induced) complications for low-back pain patients. Our reading of the literature suggests that chiropractic manipulation is safer than medical management of low-back pain.”
Lead investigator of the study, Pran Manga, Ph.D., however, did warn that spinal adjustments performed by health care professionals other than qualified doctors of chiropractic were potentially harmful and less effective:
“Indeed, several existing medical therapies of low-back pain are generally contraindicated on the basis of the existing clinical trials. There is also some evidence in the literature to suggest that spinal manipulations are less safe and less effective when performed by nonchiropractic professionals.”
On December 8, 1994, the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research (AHCPR) of the US Department of Health and Human Services released clinical practice guidelines for the management of acute low back pain. Their guidelines were developed after extensive study of the diagnostic and treatment methods used for acute low back pain. Their findings included:
- The risk of serious complications from lumbar spinal manipulation is rare;
- Conservative treatment such as spinal manipulation should be pursued in most cases before considering surgical intervention
- Prescription drugs such as oral steroids, antidepressant medications and colchicine are not recommended for acute low back problems.