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By Dr. Jim Byers
June 25, 2013
The “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act” was placed into law by congress in March, 2010. This law weighs in at forbidding 906 pages of legal text. As House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said: “We have to pass the bill so you can find out what is in it”.
No matter which side of the political aisle that you’re on, it’s obvious that traditional health care in the US is getting pricier and more complicated every year.
Something has to give. It shouldn’t be your own wellness.
“Most patients usually spend less out-of-pocket when they visit chiropractors than when they exclusively use traditional health care providers.”
You’ve probably heard statements like this. And you may have attributed them to chiropractors seeking credibility and publicity.
Would an independent study conducted by a traditional medical school persuade you that there was real truth here?
In a study conducted by the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth College, health care spending by patients with spine problems, using both complementary and alternative medical care (CAM), as well as traditional medical providers, was compared.
Here’s a summary of the report:
A total of 12,036 respondents with spine problems were included, including 4306 CAM users. CAM users had significantly better self-reported health, education, and comorbidity compared with non-CAM users. Adjusted annual medical costs among CAM users was $424 lower for spine-related costs, and $796 lower for total health care cost than among non-CAM users. Average expenditure for CAM users … was $526 lower for spine-specific costs and $298 lower for total health costs. Expenditure differences were primarily due to lower inpatient expenditures among CAM users.
As you can see, chiropractic and alternative care is not simply a “cheaper” alternative to traditional medicine. This study shows that chiropractic is a highly effective complement to your regular doctor’s visits.
Chiropractic care deals with resolving problems of the combined muscular and skeletal systems of your body – called the musculoskeletal system – which can have wide-ranging effects on your well-being. Traditional medical care generally doesn’t deal with this aspect of your health.
Chiropractors don’t put patients under anesthesia, they avoid prescribing prescription pharmaceuticals, and they do not perform surgeries – three of many reasons why chiropractic care is efficient and highly cost effective. Instead, chiropractors help put your body in harmony with your daily activities, and they focus on safe and highly effective natural and holistic therapies.
Typical treatments in a chiropractor’s office consist of adjustments carefully administered by your chiropractor, which are designed to pin-point and resolve sources of pain, weakness and lack of proper function. Many times, pain relief is immediate… in most cases, without days of healing, recovery and rehabilitation.
In addition to adjustments, other technologies are used. Hot and cold treatments, ultrasound, medical massage, and various therapeutic remedies and exercise regimens help address pain and mobility issues without demanding overnight stays or risky surgeries.
The closest equivalent that traditional medicine has to chiropractic care (in some respects) is physical therapy. But chiropractic care doesn’t require that you be referred by a surgeon or physician, and there are no lengthy, expensive commitments.
Chiropractic and alternative medical care are sometimes stigmatized because they can be inexpensive compared to traditional medical therapies. You may wonder if there are real benefits being provided by a service that is so much less expensive.
The study we just looked at shows that the answer to this question is YES.
You still need a family doctor, and periodic health checkups. Chiropractic can complement the traditional health care that you receive from your family doctor by providing help that you simply can’t get any other way.
Keep an open mind, and be well.
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