Not as far-fetched as you might think now that The Joint Commission, which currently evaluates and accredits more than 21,000 health care organizations and programs throughout the U.S. – including nearly 90 percent of all U.S. hospitals – has issued revised pain assessment and management standards.
The revised standards,1 effective Jan. 1, 2018, require the commission’s accredited hospitals to “provide nonpharmacologic pain treatment modalities” as a necessary performance element. Chiropractic is included among the potential nondrug treatment options hospitals can utilize to meet the standard, as the commission’s 2015 revision stipulated the inclusion of chiropractic care when it first defined nonpharmacologic approaches to pain management:”Both pharmacologic and nonpharmacologic strategies have a role in the management of pain … strategies may include the following: Nonpharmacologic strategies: physical modalities (for example, acupuncture therapy, chiropractic therapy, osteopathic manipulative treatment, massage therapy, and physical therapy), relaxation therapy, and cognitive behavior therapy.” [Italics added]2 The 2017 revised standards do not prohibit commission-accredited hospitals from pharmacologic approaches; however, the standards emphasize safe opioid and non-opioid prescribing and use, patient education on pain management plans of care and the potential side effects of treatment. The standards also make pain assessment and pain management “an organizational priority” to be adopted by hospitals.More information about The Joint Commission is available here.
Far too many people still believe that chiropractic care isn’t necessary unless they’re suffering excruciating low back pain.
The millions who do receive regular adjustments know that chiropractic can resolve their back pain, and more and more may also be learning about the potential nonmusculoskeletal benefits.
Take as an example the patients in a recent study in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics. Twenty consecutive patients from each of 87 Swedish chiropractor’s offices (1,504 total patients) completed questionnaires within two weeks of previous treatment.
The questionnaires documented numerous reported improvements in nonmusculoskeletal symptoms, including:
- easier to breathe (98 patients);
- improved digestive function (92 patients);
- clearer/better/sharper vision (49 patients);
- improved circulation (34 patients);
- less ringing in the ears (10 patients);
- acne/eczema better (8 patients);
- dysmennorhea (painful menstruation)
better (7 patients); and
- asthma/allergies better (6 patients).
The number of spinal areas adjusted was also related to the number of positive reactions.
- Fifteen percent of patients reported positive reactions after having a single area adjusted;
- 35% of patients reported positive reactions after having four areas adjusted. Overall,
- 23% of chiropractic patients reported experiencing positive changes in symptoms that were not musculoskeletal in nature.
Have you experienced nonmusculoskeletal benefits following chiropractic care, and if
so, have you told your doctor of chiropractic? Always report any reactions (good or
bad) you experience during or following an adjustment.
Leboeuf-Yde C, Axen I, Ahlefeldt G, et al. The types and frequencies of improved nonmusculoskeletal symptoms reported after chiropractic spinal manipulative therapy. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, Vol. 22, No. 9, pp559-64.
Abnormal Cervical Spine Curvatures May Increase Loads on Your Spine by 6-10 Times; Accelerating the Development of Spinal Arthritis and Disc Disease
Consumer Report conducted a study of people with cold and flu symptoms. 47% of people using chiropractic says it helped a lot. More than over-the-counter medication. So next time you have the sniffles, try chiropractic first.
Dr. Craig Anderson
Read more at consumer reports.
Tell your legislators: chiropractic reduces health care costs, and a growing body of evidence is proving it
By Peter W. Crownfield, Executive Editor
Only weeks after the release of a Wellmark pilot study that suggests chiropractic reduces both costs and need for surgery, Milliman USA has released findings from “An Actuarial Analysis of the Impact of Chiropractic Care on the Costs of Medical Care for Patients With Common Spinal Diagnoses,” a previously confidential report that adds to the evidence linking use of chiropractic services with significant cost savings.
Milliman USA was retained by Triad Healthcare, Inc.
– which administered the chiropractic program for the Wellmark study – to “conduct an actuarial analysis of the cost of medical care for commercially insured (non-Medicare) patients with certain common diagnoses.” The analysis was intended to address the following question: ‘Does inclusion of chiropractic benefits in a health plan change the total costs of health care for individuals with certain diagnoses, and if so, in what direction and by how much?'”
To answer that question, Milliman analyzed two data sets: one representing approximately 1.9 million member months of claims data (1996-1998) for patients with common spinal diagnoses, and a second featuring 1998 claims data only, representing 665,000 member months. Spinal diagnoses were determined by the ICD-9 code included in the patient data. The first data set came from the MEDSTAT MarketScan Research Database, representing inpatient and outpatient health care utilization by patients nationwide who are covered by the benefit plans of large employers; the second comprised claims data from 14 managed care plans throughout the U.S. provided by a physician-profiling vendor.
According to the executive summary of the report, “[T]he two analyses indicate that spinal patients who seek chiropractic coverage have materially lower health care costs than those who do not. The difference is consistent in all years and between the two data sets. The difference range from 10% to 23% lower costs for those patients who sought [chiropractic] care.”
Specifically, total costs per member, per month for patients who sought chiropractic care in 1996, 1997 and 1998 (the first data set) were $178.86, $183.41 and $197.42, respectively, compared with total costs of $231.21, $220.45 and $242.75 for patients who did not seek chiropractic care. Analysis of the second data set showed a similar trend: In 1998, per-member, per-month costs for patients who sought chiropractic care were $213.83 vs. $236.27 for patients not seeking care.
The report then projects these cost savings to a 1 million member population with an assumed incidence of “common spinal diagnoses” of 6 percent and an assumed 50/50 ratio of members seeking chiropractic care vs. those not seeking care, and an assumed per-member, per-month cost savings of $40, leading to a total monthly savings of $1.2 million. Doing a little projecting of our own, that’s a total annual savings of $14.4 million when a mere 1 million spinal patients utilize chiropractic care.
The nervous system is made up of the brain, spinal cord, and connected nerves that go everywhere in the body. Most people don’t realize that our nervous system controls every function in the body, from how fast your heart beats to the perception of pain to digestion, just to name a few. If your nerves aren’t working right, then you aren’t working right.
The speed of transmission of nerve signals is different for different things. For instance, pain travels slower than touch. Touch travels about 350 feet per second; pain travels two feet per second. When you stub your toe you feel the pressure first, then the pain. Thinking is in the mid-range of speed at about 100 feet per second. Maybe even slower for some people you know!
Exercise and movement will keep your nerves firing. This is described in a great book called “Spark” by John Ratey, MD. Dr. Ratey reviewed studies of children and academics as related to exercise and brain function. An excellent book if you like that amount of detail and are a biology nerd like me.
People come to my office with spinal dysfunction. One type of dysfunction is subluxation, an abnormal movement of a vertebra causing nervous system interference. An adjustment is fantastic at restoring the speed of the nerves in the area and allowing the nervous system to do its job.
Chiropractic care helps your spine and nervous system by maximizing nerve transmission. If your nerves are working slow then your body will not be working like it should. Without good nervous system function you are not going to function at 100%.
So don’t let your bones get on your nerves. Get checked for subluxations and if found, get treatment. You will not only feel better but your nerves will be able to function better, making you a healthier person from the inside out.