September 9, 2013 — A recent study, “Worsening Trends in the Management and Treatment of Back Pain” (JAMA Intern Med. 7.29.13), concludes that improved management of spine-related conditions represents an area of potential cost savings and quality enhancement for the nation’s healthcare system.
In response, experts at the Foundation for Chiropractic Progress (F4CP), point out that utilization of chiropractic care and a non-invasive approach as first-line care in the management of spine-related conditions presents an opportunity for cost savings, as well as improved clinical outcomes and patient satisfaction.
“Chiropractic care is well documented to effectively address many spine-related conditions,” states Gerard Clum, DC, spokesperson, F4CP. “Studies show a 28-percent reduction in the likeliness of surgery when chiropractic care precedes other interventions. Furthermore, cost per episode is 40 percent lower for patients under chiropractic care versus medical care.”
The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) recognizes the value connected with the utilization of conservative care first, and has adopted clinical guidelines to better manage spine-related conditions. This approach requires all surgical candidates to have tried and failed three months of conservative care, including chiropractic care, physical therapy and medication, prior to invasive procedures.
“Despite established clinical guidelines, countless spine-related cases continue to be mismanaged,” states Clum, who points out that spine-related conditions rank as the number one burden of disease worldwide due to prevalence and cost, according to the World Health Organization. “However, as the need for improved management becomes apparent, I expect evidence-based plans that rely on efficient methods, such as chiropractic, will become the accepted approach to care.”