Nearly 35 million people a year visit their Chiropractor, according the the American Chiropractic Association. Doctors of Chiropractic specialize in musculoskeletal disorders and are the third largest health profession behind only medical doctors and dentists.
Here are four reasons to consider seeing your Chiropractor instead of your primary care doctor if you experience back or neck pain.
Reason #1 to See a Chiropractor Instead of a Primary Care Doctor: Patient Satisfaction
Patience routinely rate their experience and outcomes seeing a chiropractor the highest among healthcare professionals. A recent Gallup poll showed three out of four people who saw a chiropractor in the last year( or 77%) described their chiropractic care as “very effective”.
A 2015 study published in the orthopedic journal Spine looked at the effectiveness of chiropractic adjustments to seeking primary care for spine pain. 94% of the chiropractic adjustment recipients experienced a 30% decrease in pain compared to only 54% of the primary care recipients.
Reason #2 to see a Chiropractor instead of a primary care doctor: chiropractic care is safe
Chiropractic is generally considered a safe treatment option for back and neck pain. Like any other medical treatments there can be potential side effects and complications. When you consider that a recent study by the American Journal of Gastroenterology showed that people taking NSAIDs are three times more likely than those who do not to develop internal bleeding and perforation in the intestinal tract. This number increases to five times as likely in people over 60 years.
The number of prescriptions for painkillers which include opiates has tripled in the past 12 years. The CDC reports that there are approximately 15,000 deaths a year from opiate painkillers. Considering these numbers, chiropractic care should be considered a safe treatment alternative for back and neck pain.
Reason #3 to See a Chiropractor Instead of a Primary Care Doctor: Chiropractic Care Is Cost Effective
A 2016 study, Hurtwitz et al that looked at the health care cost of patients in North Carolina seeking treatment from Chiropractors, Physical Therapists, or their Medical Doctors for back pain, neck pain and headaches. The study found that those who received chiropractic care had lower healthcare expenses.
Nearly all insurances cover chiropractic care. If you’ve been in a car accident usually the insurances will cover your chiropractic treatment.
Reason #4 to See a Chiropractor Instead of a Primary Care Doctor: Minimal Side Effects Compared to the other treatment options such as surgery and drugs the potential side effects of chiropractic care are minimal. Chiropractic care does include side effects. There may be some soreness following treatments. More serious side effects include fractures and disc herniations.
Relative to the side effects that come with pain medications, NSAIDS and surgery which include internal bleeding, addiction, and death chiropractic care is comparatively safe and has low instances of side effects.
For instance Estim research shows that therapies used in Chiropractic clinics such as electrical muscle stimulation (ESTIM) can have a greater propensity to manage pain with less side effects.
Estim Cause of Death/Day 0
Occasional minor skin irritation
Estim Users Can
Pain Meds. Cause of Death/Day 41
Onset of relief 10-40 min
Duration of relief 4-12 hrs.
Build tolerance Yes
Opioid induced constipation
Nausea, vomiting, dry mouth
Confusion and depression
Decrease in activities of daily living
Reduce: Medication costs by 55%
Imaging costs by 32%
Imaging tests by 32%
Physical therapy visits by12%
ER visits by 6%
Increase local blood flow
Prevent disuse atrophy
Treat sub-acute, acute and chronic pain syndromes
Most beneficial for short term
Source: E-stem Research Long Term Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation Use Impacts On Medical Utilization and Physical Therapy Costs. Published March 1998 Clinical Journal of Pain, Clinical and Economic Impact of TENS in Patients With Chronic Low Back Pain Analysis of a Nationwide Database Published December 2013.
If you have any additional questions about why to see a chiropractor instead of a primary care doctor, please feel free to get in touch here.
To book to appointment at our Raleigh, NC chiropractic location, click here.
Dr. Jeffrey Gerdes, D.C.