The American College of Physicians is recommending their new students to steer patients with back pain to doctors of chiropractic. They stated that chiropractic treatment was considered “low cost” and “high value.” This is a great benefit for patients who are not getting chiropractic care for their low back.
This news is great for many reasons, but the main reason is that people will get the care that they need. Some people have a bit of low back pain, and they can do one of three main things. They most common thing that can happen is that they can just ignore the problem. This can be like smelling smoke and not doing anything about is. The smoke can linger for many years (see campfire analogy blog), but then one day it can flare up and ignite a firestorm. This causes people to go to care in an emergency type of situation. They can either see a chiropractor or go to an Urgent Care. When they go to an Urgent Care they may only gain access to masking the real problem (i.e. given NSAIDs or muscle relaxors). This will cause the patient to keep doing the things that they are doing to flare up the problems. It does not take care of the real problem at hand. The amount of time that they waited also could bring these people in for expensive surgeries. This may have been avoided if they were treated at the early stages of pain.
The second possibility is to go to the Urgent Care or to a family practice with the first inclination of back pain. The result is the same as the previous possibility, but this time the pain is not an emergency. However, the treatment tends to be the same. This means that drugs will be given out, and the problem is just masked. This is the point where the change will happen in the future of health care. If this recommendation is implemented, then this is the point where MDs will be referring these patients to chiropractors for the “low cost high value” care.
The “low cost high value” care that is recommended is possibility three and that is chiropractic care. This means that the patient will look for a chiropractor (chiropractic is considered first-line therapy) or be referred by a physician for their back pain. A chiropractor is specially trained (average of 7 and 1/3 years of college education) to understand back pain and many other conditions. They are also trained to give a thorough history that can help eliminate life-threatening conditions. If a life threatening condition is found, then a referral to a medical doctor is made. The chiropractic evaluation also looks for the underlying problem or problems that the patient is having. They will then give a treatment plan that can help get rid of the problem instead of just masking the pain.
Call to action:
If you are suffering from back or neck pain, then make sure that you see a chiropractor. They are the experts in conservative care. Also, let your physician know about the American College of Physicians’ recommendation of referring to chiropractors. This will help save many people and their insurances money by trying to avoid expensive back surgeries. We are getting closer to better healthcare, and better healthcare is a great relationship between physicians and chiropractors. In the end the most important thing is the great health and well-being of the community. That is the ultimate goal of this chiropractor.
For more information about chiropractic care call 507-645-8000.