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All the Ways Chiropractors top MDs for Spinal Pain

A new study compared the cost of caring for patients with spine-related pain, examining the difference in costs between chiropractic care and medical management.

Here are all the ways chiropractic management resulted in lower downstream utilization and cost compared to medical management: Diagnostic Imaging- studies found chiropractic care resulted in less diagnostic imaging, particularly advanced imaging like MRI.

  • Opioids - studies found chiropractic care resulted in fewer opioid prescriptions.
  • Surgery - studies found patients underwent fewer surgeries with chiropractic management.
  • Hospitalization - chiropractic care also resulted in having fewer hospitalizations.
  • Injections - studies found that fewer injections were needed with chiropractic care.
  • ER Visits - studies found chiropractic care resulted in fewer emergency department visits.

The authors concluded: "Patients with spine-related musculoskeletal pain who consulted a chiropractor as their initial provider incurred substantially decreased downstream healthcare services and associated costs, resulting in lower overall healthcare costs compared with medical management."


  1. Farabaugh R, Hawk C, Taylor D, et al. Cost of chiropractic versus medical management of adults with spine-related musculoskeletal pain: a systematic review. Chiropr Man Therap, 2024; 32:Article 8.
  2. Dagenais S, Brady O'Haldeman S, Manga P. A systematic review comparing the costs of chiropractic care to other interventions for spine pain in the United States. BMC Health Serv Res, 2015; 15:474

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May 06, 2024