Many persons will experience low back or back pain in their lives. It is estimated that chronic low back pain is the most common for a physician visit. Acute neck or low back pain is that which results usually from some sort of trauma or movement. Sprain or strain of the soft tissue directly around or in the spinal column results from a quick pull or biomechanical force to the body resulting in a degree of tearing of one or more structures (facet joints, intervertebral discs, spinal musculature, ligamentous support), which is a common cause of work-related back pain. Low back pain is the most expensive, benign condition in industrialized countries, according to a study. It is very important therefore that there exists a cheap and effective means for treating this prevalent condition. Fortunately, there are many treatment options that one might consider for back pain. A person may choose to go to their family physician for a sprained lower back for some pain intervention and referral for physical therapy or chiropractic. A person may also choose to go to the emergency room when they have sudden low back pain after a car accident or sports injury from a pick-up game of football. Regardless of what options one may choose, cost-effectiveness overall is important to both personal finances and the economy of an entire country. In a given city or town, it is important to have on hand a list of chiropractors of that given area that one may contact given a low back, or other musculoskeletal injury.
Numerous studies exist on the cost effectiveness of chiropractic treatment for low back pain and how they reduce the total treatment cost versus conventional medicine. In one study in Utah in 1988, the estimated total treatment cost for back-related injuries found the total bill to be approximately $1,665.43 per case on average versus $775.30 for total chiropractic fees per case. Another study which reviewed available data on 26 studies found that interdisciplinary treatments including spinal manipulation were cost effective with people that had sub-acute or chronic low back pain. Given these statistics combined with the safety and lack of side-effects of manual therapy and manipulation treatment, chiropractic therapy is a viable treatment option for a patient who is experience a sports injury or pain in the neck due to a car accident. There continues to be more and more research via case study and RCT (randomized controlled trials) which demonstrate the effectiveness of conservative physical treatment that chiropractor provide which leads to the necessary consideration of those who are candidates for such therapy. Even common injuries related to the extremities, such as an ankle inversion sprain, may be very successfully handled by a chiropractic physician employing mobilization and manipulation in conjunction with exercise, rehabilitation and home instruction, as one case study shows1.
References Cited in this Article
1The use of manipulation in a patient with an ankle sprain injury not responding to conventional management: a case report www.academic.regis.edu/clinicaleducation/pdf’s/whitman.pdf
Low Back Pain and Sciatica
Cost Effectiveness Studies