A new study, recently published in the medical journal Spine, found that patients who seek chiropractic care for back pain are far less likely to undergo lumbar surgery than those who consult a surgeon. The study found that approximately 43 percent of patients who saw a surgeon first when seeking treatment for back pain ended up having surgery, as opposed to 1.5 percent of patients who first saw a chiropractor. These findings support the long held position that many health care providers subscribe to that attempting to treat back pain should start with conservative approaches, such as chiropractic care. The study pointed out that the treatments were often more beneficial to patients and far more cost-effective. As musculoskeletal conditions and low-back pain have been identified as the second leading cause of disability worldwide, it has become a top priority to health care experts to create effective and affordable strategies to deal with the rising burden of non-fatal disabilities. “As governments and health systems around the globe search for answers to complicated health challenges such as rising numbers of chronically ill and disabled patients and runaway costs, research is finally demonstrating what the chiropractic profession has promoted for years: that caring for patients with conservative treatments first, before moving on to less conservative options or unnecessary drugs and surgery, is a sensible and cost-effective strategy,” said American Chiropractic Association President Keith Overland, DC.
Source: Spine. December 12, 2012.
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