When you’re not feeling the greatest due to back or neck pain, one of the last things you want to do is go to your medical doctor. Sure, you want to feel better, but the mere act of getting yourself showered and dressed, the travel time, and the long wait for the doctor to finally see you.
That’s not to mention all of the germs that you could be exposed to while there by other patients who’ve caught the latest bug. In fact, one study conducted by the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine found that adults and children had a 3.2% higher risk of getting sick after a doctor’s visit, resulting in approximately 700,000 preventable cases of the flu annually. Fortunately, one study published in the Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine has found that access to a chiropractor can reduce your doctor’s visits (and exposure to germs) dramatically.
In this case, researchers looked at 17.7 million American adults between the ages of 66 and 99 who received Medicare between 2010 and 2011. For each one, they noted the individual’s access to chiropractic care in his or her geographic area (which was determined using the number of chiropractors per 10,000 capita) and compared it to how many visits that particular person made to a primary care physician (PCP) for back and/or neck pain issues. Their goal was to determine whether there was any difference in PCP visits based on the distribution of chiropractors.
What the researchers discovered was that the number of doctor’s visits for back and neck pain specifically was 8% lower in regions that had the highest amount of chiropractors available for service. Based on these findings, they further estimated that chiropractic likely saves roughly $83.5 million annually in Medicare costs and it does this by reducing the number of visits with PCPs by 0.37 million every year.
Not only is this good news for the person who doesn’t like going to the doctor’s office due to risk of germs, but it is also great news from an economic standpoint. Additionally, chiropractic has been shown to be more successful at treating pain and far less invasive, since chiropractors don’t perform surgery or prescribe drugs.
Ultimately, having access to a chiropractor nearby can save money and improve health. Now all you have to do is make your appointment.
- Davis MA, Yakusheva O, Gottlieb DJ, Bynum JPW. Regional Supply of Chiropractic Care and Visits to Primary Care Physicians for Back and Neck Pain. Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine 2015;28(4):481-490.
- Holohan M. (2014, February 14). Taking your healthy kids to the doctor may make them sick. Today. Retrieved from http://www.today.com/health/taking-your-healthy-kids-doctor-may-make-them-sick-2D12110565 on January 5, 2016.