Over the years, Dr. Holland has helped many people in St. Louis, MO heal from chronic neck pain. This isn't unexpected, as research demonstrates that chiropractic care leads to major benefits for 94% of neck pain patients. But how does chiropractic contrast to other conventional therapies in the management of neck pain?
To answer that question, it's useful to look back at an interesting study from 2003 printed in the British Medical Journal. The paper reviewed a variety of conventional treatments and concluded that manual therapy was the most cost-effective choice for neck pain.
Specialists from the Netherlands were concerned with assessing not only the costs related with manual therapy but exactly how successfully manual therapy provided pain relief compared to other treatment options. They randomly assigned 183 patients with acute neck pain to receive treatment from manual therapists (MT), physiotherapists (PT), or general practitioners (GP).
The patients who received manual therapy had the quickest improvement rate. After seven weeks of treatment, 68% of the MT group had recovered, as opposed to 51% of the PT group and 36% of the GP group. These differences in improvement 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 such as visits to the healthcare provider and the prices of prescription drugs, as well as secondary costs like work absenteeism and travel time. The manual therapy group had substantially 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 roughly $611 in costs as opposed 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 claimed missed work due to neck pain, compared to twelve in the PT group and fifteen in the GP group.
The decreased cost likely resulted from the fact that MT patients were using substantially less prescription medications and needed fewer treatment interventions resulting from quicker recovery rates. The researchers concluded that manual therapy, specifically spinal mobilization, is less expensive and more successful at alleviating neck pain than physical therapy or treatment from a general practitioner.
Dr. Holland has worked with many people who have struggled with neck pain. If you live in St. Louis, MO and would like to stop battling with chronic neck pain, give our office a call at (314) 588-9100 for an appointment.