Study reveals spinal pain patients visiting chiropractors first needed fewer tests and procedures

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Health care costs for spinal pain are higher for those who visit medical providers first, suggesting seeing a chiropractor first will lower costs, risks and improve outcomes.

The other day a patient visited our office who was in marked pain. He was injured at work a month and a half prior and was sent to the hospital to address his lower back pain. The patient was treated with medication only and on our visit, his acute problem was now chronic due to improper management. On our first visit, his pain level went from a 9 out of 10 to a 6 and he was able to walk better.

This type of experience with spinal pain is not uncommon, especially with the elderly who unfortunately have limited coverage for chiropractic care. The chiropractic Medicare coverage modernization act is currently gaining support in both the senate and in congress and hopefully will be brought up for a vote soon.

The legislation will improve coverage for chiropractic to fully cover all services under their state scope of practice. This will reduce costs by improving affordability for chiropractic care while offering seniors a practitioner who has proven to help patients get out of pain faster with fewer tests and lower costs.

The study published in the journal BMC showed "Spinal pain patients who consulted chiropractors as first providers needed fewer opioid prescriptions, surgeries, hospitalizations, emergency department visits, specialist referrals and injection procedures" (1)

Check out the full text from the journal by visiting this link.

Chiropractic for spinal pain is supported by research. Seeing a chiropractor first for spinal pain is your best option to get the best recovery from painful problems in the spine, while avoiding unnecessary interventions. Early intervention prevents chronicity and improves outcomes.

  1. Farabaugh R, Hawk C, Taylor D, Daniels C, Noll C, Schneider M, McGowan J, Whalen W, Wilcox R, Sarnat R, Suiter L, Whedon J. Cost of chiropractic versus medical management of adults with spine-related musculoskeletal pain: a systematic review. Chiropr Man Therap. 2024 Mar 6;32(1):8. doi: 10.1186/s12998-024-00533-4. PMID: 38448998; PMCID: PMC10918856.