Chiropractic vs. Prescription Drugs

Background:

Low back pain can be treated though chiropractic care or via prescription drugs. If a person seeks care from a medical doctor, then prescription drugs will often be prescribed. Which is better? A recent study examined this issue, from the standpoint of patient satisfaction.

Who Conducted the Study?

A study in the October 2021 issue of The Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics (JMPT) examined records of 195 Medicare patients to determine which type of care worked best.

What did the Study Reveal?

By a great margin, patients receiving chiropractic care for their low back pain were very satisfied with their care (84%), far more than recipients of prescription drug therapy (50%).

What are the Lessons Learned?

Low back pain places a tremendous burden on the health care system in the United States, with health care costs estimated at $100 billion per year, and chronic low back pain is the leading cause of disability worldwide. The average age of adults with chronic low back pain is increasing. A 2012 study found that 19.3% of people 65 and over suffered from low back pain over a 3-month period.

An additional consideration is the opioid epidemic in our country. Opioids are often prescribed for chronic pain. Spinal manipulation therapy, as commonly provided by chiropractors, has been established as an effective drug-free treatment for low back pain.

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