What You Need To Know
Research shows that most people experience neck pain some time in their life. Chiropractors were found to be the provider of choice over primary care providers. In addition, 78% of patients who began chiropractic care for their neck pain continued with chiropractic care (rather than moving on to another provider type for their pain). A new study in Spine looks at the patterns of utilization for patients with new-onset neck pain by provider type.
In a study group of 770,326 patients in the US representing a mixture of ages and regions. Not surprisingly, during the first 180 days of care, chiropractic patients were less likely to receive plain radiology, cervical spine CT or cervical spine MRI than patients who began their care with primary care providers & orthopedists. Similarly, chiropractic patients experienced less therapeutic injections, and major surgery than primary care provider and orthopedist patients.
The wholesale reliance on diagnostic imaging by primary care physicians, emergency medicine and orthopedists may expose a lack of ability to physically diagnose neck pain (or back pain, for that matter.) The lack of ability to provide manual manipulation and other types of manual care appears to lead to the greater use of therapeutic injections and surgery.
1. Haldeman S, Carroll L, Cassidy JD. Findings from the bone and joint decade 2000 to 2010 task force on neck pain and its associated disorders. J Occup Environ Med, 2010:52(4):424-427.
2. Hoy DG, Protani M, De R, Buchbinder R. The epidemiology of neck pain. Best Pract res Clin Rheumatol, 2010; 24(6):783-792.
3. Fenton JJ, Fang S, Ray M, et al Longitudinal care patterns and utilization among patients with new-onset neck pain by initial provider specialty. Spne, 2023 Aug. 1 (published online in advance of print).
4. Carey TS, Garrett J, Jackman A, et al. The outcomes and costs of care for acute low back pain among patients seen by primary care practitioners, chiropractors, and orthopedic surgeons. The North Carolina Back Pain Project. N Engl J Med, 1995: 333(14):913-917.
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