Home Blog Why Chiropractic Is an Excellent First Choice for Low Back Pain Summarized By Dr. Timothy Harcourt

Why Chiropractic Is an Excellent First Choice for Low Back Pain Summarized By Dr. Timothy Harcourt

Nov 21, 2021 -- Posted by : Dr.Harcourt

The current available research notes that 52% of all opioid prescriptions are for patients with low back pain, and over two million Americans suffer from opioid use disorder (OUD), with 47,000 dying from OUD in 2017. In light of the opioid epidemic, the high cost of diagnostic tests and invasive treatment, and the low level of patient satisfaction with such care, researchers from the Boston University School of Public Health set out to find better options for the management of low back pain. Their findings revealed that a patient’s INITIAL choice of healthcare provider plays an important role in their prospects for a successful outcome from the perspective of both the patient and the insurance company.

This prompted a major health insurance carrier to send a notice to their policy holders promoting initial care for low back pain with either a doctor of chiropractic (DC) or physical therapist (PT). The carrier notes that this move is expected to reduce the use of spinal imaging tests by 21%, spinal surgeries by 21%, and opioid prescriptions by 19%, leading to lower costs for employers and plan participants.

This recommendation is not only in line with guidelines from the American College of Physicians that non-drug, non-surgical care should be the initial course of treatment for the low back pain patient, but also a growing body of research on the effectiveness of non-surgical, non-drug approaches for managing low back pain:

  • A 2020 study found that 22% of patients who initially visited their primary care doctor (PCP) received a short-term opioid prescription, with those first consulting with a PT or DC being 85-90% less likely to require an opioid prescription.
  • A 2015 study found patients who first sought care from a DC were not only more satisfied with their care than those who visited a PCP first, but the overall treatment costs were lower.
  • Back in 2013, researchers reviewed data from Washington state worker’s compensation cases and found that 43% of workers with a back injury who initially consulted with a surgeon ended up having surgery while just 1.5% of those who first received chiropractic treatment eventually had a surgical procedure for their back pain.
  • A study published in 2019 found that low back pain patients were less likely to see DC/PTs vs. PCPs when the insurance plan had greater restrictions on DC/PT visits (higher co-pays, deductibles, participation in programs such as a health savings account). The authors stated long-term economic and social benefits would result if health insurance benefit designs were changed to encourage LBP patients to see DC/PT provider types.

BOTTOM-LINE: It’s becoming increasingly clear that conservative treatment approaches like chiropractic care should be strongly recommended for patients with low back pain and other musculoskeletal conditions. Not only will this lead to a reduced use of potentially harmful opioids and the issues that can stem from their misuse, but there will also be cost savings for patients and insurers. As with most health conditions, the sooner a patient seeks care, the greater their likelihood for a successful treatment outcome.

So, if you are experiencing back pain, lower back pain, or pain in the coccyx and type in pain management near me, you may find Coast Chiropractic Centers with Dr. Timothy Harcourt, me, comes up. 

You may wonder, “Do I need an MRI scan of my back.”

Also, if you feel leg pain it may indicate things are getting worse and may indicate a bulge on the disc or worse yet a herniated disc in your back.  Some people will try stretching the lower back first to see if they get relief from their back pain.  Pain very low in the lower back may be originating from the coccyx or tailbone.  A pulled muscle in the back generally will get better with rest.  Persistent or worsening pain intensity and/or frequency necessitates a visit to see a professional. 

Call me, Dr. Tim Harcourt, at (239) 278-3344 and mention this article for an awesome discounted first visit to include history, exam, and adjustment or Class IV high-intensity laser treatment.  So if you find yourself experiencing lower back pain while running or doing physical activities.

If you are suffering from back pain that is affecting your quality of life and allowing you to enjoy Fort Myers Beach. Come see us at Coast Chiropractic Centers located on 7270 College Parkway. 

Don't let back pain stop you from enjoying the beautiful SWFL!  Dr. Dr. Tim Harcourt is here to give you the relief you need. 


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