What You Don't Know About Chiropractic Could Be Costing You More Than You Think

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Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin Chiropractor Dr. J G Moellendorf, DC, ND, LCP, discusses the findings of The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Health Plan in mandating the use of Chiropractic before allowing low back surgery in their participants.

“Who would have imagined this—a leading medical college actually mandating that their patients see a Chiropractor rather than having surgery?"

According to the research reviews Dr. JG Moellendorf DC, ND, LCP has done, low back pain is common among humans, affecting 80 to 90 per cent of the population during their lifetime. Because 2/3rds of the body weight is carried above the waist, humans become vulnerable to back pain when in awkward positions, such as bending forward and twisting while lifting. This is commonly seen in putting the baby into a car seat in the middle of the car, or pulling stubborn weeds in the garden.

The occurrence of adult back pain often starts with the childhood trips, tumbles, falls, and jumps. A small sprain leads to abnormal spinal joint function. The muscles compensate and adapt, but at the cost of decreased and strained movements. Eventually, even a simple sneeze, or bending over to tie one’s shoes, will “throw out the back”. Once a person has an episode of back pain, repeat occurrences are almost guaranteed.

These chronic, recurrent episodes are not only costly to the injured employee, but cost billions of dollars annually to employers and their insurance companies in lost production and health care costs. While drugs may relieve the immediate excruciating pain, they are not a long-term solution because of damage to the liver and kidneys and the high risk of addiction. Surgery has its own set of complications including a high failure rate.

The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) Health Plan, the health maintenance organization affiliated with the university’s School of Medicine, has embraced revolutionary guidelines for managing chronic low back pain. Because of the high failure rate and extensive costs of surgery, UPMC has taken a deep look into ways to increase success and minimize costs in the treatment of chronic low back pain.

As of January 1, 2012, UPMC implemented a comprehensive clinical initiative focused on the treatment of chronic low back pain. While surgical emergencies would still be addressed immediately, all other lower back surgeries would require prior authorization to determine if surgery was medically necessary. Quoting their policy:

“To be considered for surgery, patients with chronic low back pain must have:

  •     Tried and failed a 3-month course of conservative management, which includes physical therapy, chiropractic therapy, and medication.
  •     Completed UPMC Health Plan’s Low Back Pain Health Coaching Program.”

“This policy was developed using evidence-based literature and professional society guidelines, as well as the input of external medical professionals with expertise in the area”

To quote Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin Chiropractor Dr. J G Moellendorf, DC, ND, LCP, “Who would have imagined this—a leading medical college actually mandating that their patients see a Chiropractor rather than having surgery? But the results of Chiropractic in the treatment of lower back pain have spoken for themselves in the reduction of time lost from work, reduction of healthcare costs and time off work, increased successful results, and patient satisfaction. UPMC has taken the lead in what doctors should have always been focused on: what is best for the patient.”

Chiropractic care has success caring for lower back pain when other methods fail because it focuses on realigning the spine while increasing movement through normal joint function. This in turn reduces tensions on the muscles and ligaments while reducing the nerve irritation that leads to pain.

With Chiropractic care, many extremely satisfied patients successfully get rid of their chronic back pain. They can finally regain their quality of life by returning to their favorite sports, enjoying their hobbies, and other aspects of their lives that they had previously given up because of their back pain.

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