The Washington Post and the slippery slope of back pain; another reason to see a chiropractor first.

Lower_Back_Pain_517567The Washington Post and the slippery slope of back pain; another reason to see a chiropractor first.

Most doctors agree that the problem of health care costs have to do with administration, fragmentation of care and too much testing.  Even today, a doctor had told me that his note for a problem such as a sore throat ends up being three pages and for what?

While this post is not designed to be a rant, the truth is that back pain is rarely understood properly, rarely treated properly with most practitioners of healthcare, but the costs skyrocket when a primary care practitioner sees these patients first, instead of a therapist or a chiropractor.  According to Consumer Reports, the chiropractor is likely your best choice.

The facts now show that the practitioner you see first can determine cost, success and who ends up with surgery or another medical intervention that is more harmful than helpful, yet is very costly as well.

In todays environment, many of us have higher copayments and deductibles that have risen, while our coverage has fallen.  This has forced many people to suffer needlessly, while their problems worsened over time, costing more in the end.

According to the Washington Post, they too did their homework and found that those who saw a non medical person first was more likely to be helped at a lower cost, with a safer care plan.

Chiropractically speaking, most of your more accomplished chiropractors not only do manipulation of the spine and extremities, but also perform methods such as treat test treat protocols which are more reliable that the older idea of diagnosis, and then months of aimless therapies, as well as exercise instruction and therapeutic interventions such as myofascial release treatment.

While some folks still do not totally trust that a chiropractor is the right place for them, their fears are unfounded as they find out their doctor will do a thorough exam and look at them, not just the symptoms they came in with.  This is an important concept that has differentiated chiropractors than most of the mainstream practitioners because almost always, outside of trauma, the area of pain is not necessarily the cause, especially with lower back pain.

While it is true that sometimes back pain is due to cancer (quite rare), most patients with back pain find out the cause can be the upper back, the shoulders, their gait, foot problems, their lower back, a weak core, etc.   In other words, a thorough exam is essential for a good diagnosis which results in a better outcome of care, which is why when someone finds a good chiropractor, they stick with them.

Regarding the Washington Post article, check it out here.

Going to the doctor for back pain can be a slippery slope

By Jill U. Adams May 26, 2014

Back pain is one of the most common health complaints, affecting more than one in four adults every year, and a popular reason for physician visits. But most people recover from back pain whether they”™re treated medically or not, says Wolf Mehling, a professor of medicine at the University of California at San Francisco”™s Osher Center for Integrative Medicine.

For people who do see a doctor, research shows that while the vast majority get better, a small percentage get worse. In a recent study, Mehling and his colleagues interviewed 521 people six months after they”™d seen doctors for acute back pain; 81 percent of them were completely recovered or much improved, while 16 percent were the same or slightly improved and 3 percent were worse off.

The American College of Physicians guidelines for back pain generally recommend over-the-counter pain medication, rest and exercise for initial treatment for “œnonspecific” back pain, which means pain that is not clearly linked to injury or disease. Yet many people go to the doctor for nonspecific back pain, where they are often given prescription pain relievers and/or are sent for expensive tests. (Of course, if you have severe pain and/or have been injured, you should go to the doctor immediately.)

Read more