Save Money at the Chiropractor
With healthcare costs rising in the country, patients seeking the greatest return on investment to address their neck, back and extremity pain can turn to chiropractors. This is because chiropractors treat the cause of the pain, which results in a more sustainable, less costly solution compared to visiting a medical physician. Most initial exam costs are approximately $100-$120 and treatments are $50-$75. Average treatment plans depending on diagnoses, severity, age, arthritis, etc. can range from 4-12 visits.
Harvard Medical School reports that low back pain costs up to $200 billion a year in the United States, including costs of care and missed work. In fact, back pain accounts for more than 264 million lost work days in one year, or two work days for every full-time worker in the country, according to the American Chiropractic Association (ACA). Low back pain also is a leading cause of disability worldwide.
The 31 million Americans experiencing back pain right now would benefit with the help of a chiropractor. So would their wallets.
A Cost-Effective Approach to Managing Spine Pain
Studies suggest that patients who visit a chiropractor will save healthcare dollars short and long term. The ACA cites 30 studies on the matter, each which “consistently shows that patients with low back and neck pain who are treated by chiropractors have lower or at least similar costs than those seeking care from other providers.”
One study from 2012 tracked more than 12,000 patients with low back and neck pain who sought complementary and integrative health care (CIH) such as chiropractic, acupuncture, massage, and herbalism. When compared to non-users, spine care costs were $526 lower and total health care costs were $298 lower.
Another example is a 2015 systematic review comparing the costs of chiropractic care to other interventions for spine pain in the United States, published by the National Library of Medicine. The review of 25 eligible studies concluded that “health care costs may be somewhat lower when spine pain is managed with chiropractic care in the U.S.”
The review also suggests the reasons why chiropractors are a more cost-effective approach to managing spine pain:
- lower fees for office visits
- lower referral rates to spine-invasive specialists or surgeons
- and scope of practice limitations related to high-cost medications, injections, and surgery.
Chiropractors pride themselves on “Natural Care.” Instead, they use non-invasive leverage techniques and, if needed, physical therapy to restore proper joint function. This type of care most often saves patients from highly addictive opioids, steroids and invasive hospitalizing surgeries.
Chiropractic Methods Work
The federal Agency for Health Care Research and Quality recommends that low back pain sufferers choose the most conservative professional care first, such as spinal manipulation.
Both Harvard Health Publishing and ACA cite a 2018 study published in JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association) Network Open in support of the effectiveness of chiropractic care. The study of 750 active-duty military personnel who complained of back pain shows that “chiropractic care combined with usual medical care for low back pain provides greater pain relief and a greater reduction in disability than medical care alone.”
According to the study, after six weeks of treatment, those assigned to receive chiropractic care:
- reported less pain intensity
- experienced less disability and more improvement in function
- reported higher satisfaction with their treatment
- needed less pain medicine
Paying for Chiropractic Care
Insurance coverage for chiropractic care is common. Strelcheck Chiropractic Clinic, for example, is a provider for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois PPO, CIGNA, AETNA, and United Healthcare, and they process Medicare and Veterans Administration programs. Strelcheck also offers several payment options to patients without insurance coverage or with limited coverage.
“We try to eliminate any financial barriers to people so they can get pain free, stress free,” Dr. Strelcheck says.
Strelcheck Chiropractic Clinic was established in 1958 and is an experienced, advanced technique, second generation, non-frill Clinic. Its doctors are Palmer College graduates that practice a gentle but effective style of care.
“We are here to serve the public, not take advantage of them,” Dr. Strelcheck says.