December 27, 2013 — The Foundation for Chiropractic Progress (F4CP), a not-for-profit organization dedicated to raising awareness about the value of chiropractic care, promotes the findings of a new study, “Perspectives of older adults on co-management of low back pain by doctors of chiropractic and family medicine physicians: a focus group study” (BMC Complementary & Alternative Medicine, 9.16.2013), which confirms that older adults are interested in receiving co-managed treatment by medical doctors (MDs) and doctors of chiropractic (DCs) for low-back pain (LBP). Participants favored this approach based on the premise that the two professions encompass complementary strengths.
“Over 80 percent of the American population is expected to experience back pain, and having access to optimal care is essential,” shares Gerard Clum, DC, spokesperson, F4CP. “Although co-management by DCs and MDs for patients with LBP is presently uncommon, the collaboration offers a unique opportunity for first-rate care at a desirable cost.”
Positioned on opposite ends of the care spectrum, chiropractic offers non-invasive, hands-on and active care, while medicine utilizes a passive approach typified by the use of drugs and surgery to manage LBP cases. Through co-management, patients will receive access to a greater scale of resourceful, evidence-based options helping to avoid exposure to pharmaceutical interventions. According to the recent report, success in co-management cases is largely determined by the ability of providers to coordinate and master patient-centered communication, interdisciplinary interactions and administrative support.
“Presently, there is no clear-cut ‘best approach’ for managing the full spectrum of patients with varying degrees of LBP,” states Clum. “The collaborative approach desired by patients will allow the least costly, least invasive strategies to be employed as a first line of response. This clinical strategy presents a fresh way to address troublesome and costly LBP cases. As providers become motivated to work together under the mission to provide patients with the care they want, deserve and need, I expect all healthcare stakeholders will benefit.”