Over the years, Dr. Block has helped many people in Chesapeake VA heal from chronic neck pain. This isn't surprising, as research demonstrates that chiropractic care results in major results for 94% of neck pain patients. But how does chiropractic contrast to other conservative therapies in the management of neck pain?
To answer this question, it's useful to look back at an interesting study from 2003 printed in the British Medical Journal. The paper compared a variety of conventional treatments and concluded that manual therapy was the most cost-effective option for neck pain.
Analysts from the Netherlands were concerned about assessing not only the costs associated with manual therapy but just how successfully manual therapy provided pain alleviation when compared to other treatment options. They randomly assigned 183 patients who were suffering from severe neck pain to undergo care from manual therapists (MT), physiotherapists (PT), or general practitioners (GP).
The patients who received manual therapy had the fastest improvement rate. After 7 weeks of treatment, 68% of the MT group had healed, compared to 51% of the PT group and 36% of the GP group. These variances in recovery rates were still statistically significant after 26 weeks but not after 52 weeks.
To calculate costs of treatment options, the researchers looked at direct costs including appointments with the healthcare provider and the costs of prescription drugs, along with indirect costs such as work absenteeism and travel time. The manual therapy group had significantly reduced costs, with patients spending only a third of the costs spent by patients in the PT and GP groups. Typically, manual therapy patients had about $611 in costs compared to $1773 in the physiotherapy group and $1885 in the general practitioner group (or 447 euros, 1297 euros, and 1379 euros, respectively). Only nine patients in the MT group reported missed work because of neck pain, compared to twelve in the PT group and 15 in the GP group.
The lowered cost likely stemmed from the fact that MT patients were using substantially less prescription medications and needed fewer treatment interventions as a result of quicker recovery rates. The researchers concluded that manual therapy,