The healthcare journal The Hospitalist in 2015 noted that “unnecessary healthcare services” accounted for 27% of the hundreds of billions of dollars spent on health care. Escalating healthcare costs due to unneeded medications and procedures should be a concern for everyone, and a careful discussion about treatment options is always a good idea. Those with a Doctor of Chiropractic degree are already committed to a conservative approach to care.
Last year, the American College of Physicians (ACP) published new guidelines advising conservative care options first for neck and back pain, including chiropractic treatments – administered by those with a Doctor of Chiropractic degree.
A doctor of chiropractic (D.C.) is a healthcare professional focused on diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disorders of the spine and other parts of the musculoskeletal system. Chiropractic education is academically rigorous and considered equivalent to the number of hours required for med school.
For example, those receiving a chiropractic education receive on average 4,826 hours of classroom instruction and clinical experience. Chiropractic education typically covers more hours than med schools studying anatomy, physiology, bacteriology, diagnosis, X-ray, and orthopedics.
According to a series of articles published in The Lancet in 2018, sometimes the “go-to” medical treatment decisions are ineffective. Why is that? The Lancet says, “Lack of awareness among the general public and doctors who are not pain management specialists.”
Andrea Furlan is a pain researcher at Canada’s Institute of Work and Health and on staff as a pain management physician at the University of Toronto School of Medicine. Back pain, she said in an NPR report, involves a combination of factors: genetics, social and psychological causes, and related issues like obesity, smoking, and insomnia.
Because of that, researchers want to see physicians emphasize nonpharmacological treatments for most patients with chronic pain whenever possible. This advice is reflected in the ACP guidelines and publications such as the Canadian Medical Association Journal and the Annals of Internal Medicine.
Another certainty is that occurrences of back and neck pain will continue:
Because doctors of chiropractic are primary healthcare professionals focused on diagnosis, care, and prevention of disorders of the spine and other parts of the musculoskeletal system, going to chiropractors for this specialized type of pain certainly makes sense.
Two conclusions from the report Chiropractic: A Safe and Cost-effective Approach to Health show this. One is that a study analyzing data from 85,000 Blue Cross Blue Shield patients in Tennessee reported that pain treatments initiated with a chiropractor saved 40% in healthcare costs when compared with care through a physician. A second is that a 2016 Gallup-Palmer survey showed 97% of past-year patients said they would revisit a chiropractor if they have neck or back pain.
When considering the type of healthcare professional you want to be, remember that a chiropractic education has much to offer:
Where you earn your Doctor of Chiropractic degree is a highly personal decision. At Cleveland University-Kansas City (CUKC), you can become the difference in healthcare. CUKC is a private, nonprofit, healthcare-focused university in the Kansas City suburb of Overland Park, Kansas. In 2022, the University celebrated its 100th anniversary. More than one of every 10 chiropractors earned their D.C. degree at our College of Chiropractic.