“What should I do about my back pain? It’s been going on for so long.”
It does for many Easley chronic low back pain sufferers. Young Chiropractic knows Easley back pain
patients wrestle with this problem. There are a variety of options – rest, exercise, meds, manipulation, chiropractic, medicine, yoga, acupuncture, surgery, etc. – which makes it difficult to decide. Recent research has looked at the cost, safety, and risk of treatment escalation for patients who choose spinal manipulation
initially versus those who choose opioid analgesic treatment initially for their chronic low back pain. The results are thought-provoking.
COSTS OF OPIOID VS SMT FOR CHRONIC LOW BACK PAIN MEDICARE PATIENTS
Chronic low back pain is a costly condition, but just how costly is it? An analysis of Medicare health expenses for long-term care of chronic low back pain compared the costs of opioid analgesic treatment versus those for spinal manipulation therapy. There were 28,160 participants aged 65-84 years old. 77% started with opioid therapy for their chronic low back pain. 23% started with SMT. The long-term expenses for opioid-therapy patients were 58% lower, but long-term overall healthcare expenses were 1.87 times higher for those same opioid patients. (1) Young Chiropractic follows a system of Easley chiropractic treatment frequency steered by the 50% Rule looking for 50% relief of pain within a month with more visits initially and less as the pain decreases.
SAFETY OF OPIOIDS VS SMT FOR CHRONIC LOW BACK PAIN MEDICARE PATIENTS
Cost is one thing. What about safety? An analysis of patient files of Medicare beneficiaries aged 65 to 84 with chronic low back pain for 5 years looked at the long-term safety of two usual approaches to chronic low back pain: opioid analgesic therapy and spinal manipulation therapy. The researchers considered a few types of patient records: patients who only underwent spinal manipulation, only received opioids, started with opioids then had spinal manipulation, and began with spinal manipulation then supplemented with opioids. What did they discover? The risk of adverse drug events was substantially higher – 42 times higher - for patients who started with opioid therapy first for their chronic back pain than those who started with spinal manipulation. (2) Young Chiropractic utilizes the well research-documented, safe, gentle protocols of Cox® Technic.
ESCALATION OF CARE RISK FOR CHRONIC LOW BACK PAIN MEDICARE PATIENTS
Research documents another important factor in back pain treatment: how well does a treatment keep a patient from having to undergo more complex treatment? A third review of Medicare patient data looked at escalation of care risk – hospital stays, emergency room visits, imaging, back surgery, pain med interventions, and other such encounters for possible complications of chronic low back pain – in long-term chronic low back pain care patients who began with opioid analgesic therapy or spinal manipulation therapy. Starting care with spinal manipulation therapy was linked to lower rates of escalation of care. The rate of escalated care encounters was 2.5 times higher for opioid treatment patients. (3) The use of Cox® Technic at Young Chiropractic lessens the requirement for escalated care while carefully monitoring each patient for indications that such may be helpful or needed.
CONTACT Young Chiropractic
Listen to this PODCAST with Dr. Nike Taylor on The Back Doctors Podcast with Dr. Michael Johnson as she describes treatment of chronic low back pain with the Cox® Technic Flexion Distraction System of Spinal Pain Management.
Set up your Easley chiropractic appointment soon. Whether the response to the question of “what should I do about my back pain?” was opioid treatment or other care, spinal manipulation at Young Chiropractic may well be your next (or your initial if you are just beginning the search for help) treatment that will get you the back pain relief you want in a cost-effective, safe way.