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Benko Chiropractic, PC

Chiropractic Adjustments Most Economical Option for Neck Pain

Over the years, we've helped many people in Schererville, IN recover from persistent neck pain. This isn't surprising, as research demonstrates that chiropractic leads to significant improvements for 94% of neck pain patients. But how does chiropractic contrast to other conservative therapies in the management of neck problems?

To answer this question, it's useful to look back at an important study from 2003 printed in the British Medical Journal. The paper compared a variety of conservative therapies and concluded that manual therapy was the most cost-effective alternative for neck pain.

Researchers from the Netherlands were interested in comparing not only the costs linked with manual therapy but how successfully manual therapy provided relief compared to other treatments. They randomly assigned 183 patients with acute neck pain to receive care from manual therapists (MT), physiotherapists (PT), or general practitioners (GP).

Patients receiving manual therapy had the quickest recovery rate. After seven weeks of treatment, 68% of the MT group had recovered, as opposed to 51% of the PT group and 36% of the GP group. These variances in improvement rates were still statistically significant after 26 weeks but not after 52 weeks.

To calculate costs of treatments, the researchers considered direct costs such as visits to the healthcare provider and the costs of prescription medications, in addition to indirect costs like work absenteeism and travel time. The manual therapy group had significantly lower costs, with patients spending only a third of the costs spent by patients in the PT and GP groups. On average, manual therapy patients had approximately $611 in costs as opposed to $1773 in the physiotherapy group and $1885 in the general practitioner group (or 447 euros, 1297 euros, and 1379 euros, respectively). Only nine patients in the MT group reported missed work due to neck pain, compared to 12 in the PT group and 15 in the GP group.

The lowered cost likely stemmed from the fact that MT patients were using significantly less prescription drugs and needed fewer treatment interventions due to quicker recovery rates. The researchers concluded that manual therapy, specifically spinal mobilization, is less expensive and more successful at treating neck pain than physical therapy or care from a general practitioner.

Dr. Benko has worked with many people who have suffered from neck pain. If you live in Schererville, IN and would like to stop suffering from chronic neck pain, give our office a call at (219) 322-9999 for a consultation.

Korthals-de Bos IB, et al. Cost effectiveness of physiotherapy, manual therapy, and general practitioner. British Medical Journal 2003;326:911.