A new study published in January 2015 by Optum Physical Health studied Spine Related Disorders in 37 states. This study was one of the most far reaching and comprehensive looks at the cost and extent of Spine Related Disorders. 813,648 different providers participated, 16,427,792 episodes of treatment were evaluated, and the cost of treatment was $31,134,301,438.00.
The treatment studied was non-surgical spinal care because most Spine Related Disorders are non-surgical, and the science related to good treatment practices is largely settled. Although, the science of what treatment works and what does not is settled, there is still a high prevalence of variability in treatment from provider to provider.
Recommendations from the American College of Physicians / American Pain Society state:
Recommended: Not Recommended:
Manipulation / Chiropractic MRI / CT Scan / X-rays
Discuss with and Educate your patient on back pain Injections
Over the counter NSAIDS Opiods
Light Exercise / Stay Active
(Annals of Internal Medicine 2007)
This extensive study resulted in some surprising conclusions.
* If you are trying to reduce the cost of an episode of treatment, it is important that you see your chiropractor within the first three days for the maximum cost savings.
* Using diagnostic imaging early in treatment will not only increase the cost of that episode of treatment due to the cost of the imaging, but it will also extend the length of time your are under care and the number of different providers you will see – driving up costs! Early imaging in the absence of suspected bone or nerve trauma is not supported by current guidelines.
* Even patients with complex spinal conditions benefit greatly from chiropractic treatment.