Chiropractic Effectiveness


Research has shown that Chiropractic care is not only an effective way of treating back pain as well as other health issues but is also cost effective as well. A study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine sponsored by American Specialty Health Plans (AHSP) and conducted by Health Benchmarks, reviewed 4 years of claims data on back pain from two groups. The first group was made up of 700,000 health plan members with chiropractic care coverage, and the second group was made up of 1 million members who were in the same health plan as the first group, but who didn't have chiropractic coverage. This study found several differences in health care costs for patients with and without chiropractic coverage. One of these differences is that the overall per-member, per-year health care cost of members with chiropractic coverage was $1,463- $208 less than the cost of members without chiropractic coverage. Another differences was that per-member, per-year health care cost of chiropractic patients with neuromusculskeletal conditions were 13 percent lower compared to the same group of patients without chiropractic care coverage. The greatest difference seen between these two groups in this study was that the average cost per back pain episodes for patients with chiropractic coverage was 28 percent lower than for patients without chiropractic coverage.


Another study conducted by McMorland, et al., reported that 250,000 patients a year undergo elective lumbar discectomy (spinal surgery) for the treatment of low-back issues in the U.S. The researchers conducted a comparative randomized clinical study where they compared quality of life and disability between study groups that attempted to resolve back issues through surgery and those who sought to resolve their back issues through chiropractic care. They found that 60 percent of the potential surgical candidates had positive outcomes utilizing chiropractic as an alternative to surgery. If you take this studies findings into consideration with the conservatively reported 400,000 disc surgeries performed each year in the United States we realize that 240,000 patients could avoid needless surgery annually if they sought chiropractic care. Sherman, et al., calculated that the average cost for uncomplicated, invasive disc/back surgeries cost around $70,159 per patient. In comparison the average cost of chiropractic care per patient to resolve the same or similar back issue is $3,918, meaning that patients who seek chiropractic care save around $66,241. If you take this numbers and apply them to the annual 240,000 unnecessary surgeries net savings to the Medicare system and private insurers amounts to around 16 billion dollars. As the research shows, chiropractic care is both health and cost effective.


For more information and details on these studies and their findings please look up the articles "Chiropractic Again Shown to Be More Cost-Effective" and "Chiropractic Saves Insurers $15.8 Billion, Adds $692 Million in Wages to Americans" published in the Chiropractic News Source "Dynamic Chiropractic".