Health Report! Your Monthly
RECENT RESEARCHON BACK PAIN WHY YOU DON’T NEED SURGERY TO FEEL BETTER
This research is definitely something you should share with your friends, family, coworkers, and human resource professionals at your workplace to try to help alleviate suffering, keep costs down, and actually solve health problems. The second study I want to share with you focused on which road leads to spine surgery. According to the Mayo Clinic, “Back surgery is needed in only a small percentage of cases … while back pain is extremely common, surgery often fails to relieve it.” So, what determines whether a patient undergoes spinal surgery? According to this study, one of the major predictive indicators was whether a patient sees a surgeon or doctor of chiropractic first! They further noted that there is little evidence to suggest that spinal surgery is associated with any improved outcome — yet surgery rates have increased dramatically since the 1990s. Those who saw a spine surgeon first were significantly more likely to undergo spine surgery within three years (42.7 percent) than those who first saw a doctor of chiropractic (1.5 percent). That is nearly 30 times more likely! Another large seven-year HMO study found that those who chose a doctor of chiropractic over a medical doctor as their primary care provider — for everything from allergies and headaches to back pain and other common ailments — had 60 percent fewer hospital admissions. When you think about what it costs to be in a hospital for a day, this is huge. If a patient in a hospital chose a doctor of chiropractic as their primary care doctor, they would spend 59 percent fewer days in the hospital, have 62 percent fewer surgeries, and pay 85 percent less in pharmaceutical costs. Did you know that when comparing course by course and textbook by textbook, a doctor of chiropractic receives nearly 20 percent more education and training than your family doctor? Did you also know that nerve, muscle, and bone make up more than 70 percent of the human body, yet a family physician receives less than four hours of instruction in this area? In fact, out of 132 medical schools in the U.S., only 12 teach a class specifically addressing the No. 1 killer in America (heart disease), and only six teach a
Happy New Year! In this issue, I would like to discuss the findings of several important and recently published research papers. They deal specifically with back pain, which is the second leading reason for a visit to the doctor (colds are No. 1). The first study was published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, which featured a nine-year study on the cost of low back pain. The findings are eye-opening. Patients who suffered from low back pain were split into several different groups, each given a different treatment. The first group was classified as information and advice , and their treatment involved information-gathering consults and imaging studies with no other procedures. The next was medical management , which consisted of physician’s visits for nerve-block surgeries or comparable procedures. The next category of patients saw a doctor of chiropractic for more than one visit. The next saw a physical therapist for more than one visit, and the final group was called dabblers . They had no more than one visit with any of the above groups. The findings concluded that over a three-year period, the cost for those just seeking information and advice was $11,063.41. Wow! I’m sure you’re blown away by how expensive that advice is with the patients facing the same pain three years later. The group that dabbled spent $12,228.67 in the same three-year period. We frequently talk about this paradigm in the office: Asking the right questions and addressing the cause versus merely treating, treating, and treating the symptoms and never addressing the underlying cause. The group that saw the medical physician averaged $28,231.50 over a three-year period, plus, the success rate for those procedures was dismal, leaving many of the patients still suffering from the problem. The group that saw a physical therapist averaged $17,193.92, and the group that saw the chiropractor averaged $6,983.92 over the same three-year period. Chiropractic had the lowest price of the bunch! This study, along with many others over the last 20 years, shows that patients who go to a doctor of chiropractic first get far better results at a fraction of the cost while enjoying better overall health.
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