Over the years, Dr. Sweeney has helped many people in Nashville, TN recover from persistent neck pain. This isn't unexpected, as research shows that chiropractic care leads to significant results for 94% of neck pain sufferers. But how does chiropractic compare to other conservative therapies in the management of neck pain?
To answer this question, it's useful to look back at an interesting study from 2003 published in the British Medical Journal. The research reviewed a variety of conservative treatments and concluded that manual therapy was the most economical choice for neck pain.
Investigators from the Netherlands were interested by assessing not only the expenses associated with manual therapy but exactly how successfully manual therapy provided pain alleviation when compared to other treatment methods. They randomly assigned 183 patients with severe neck pain to undergo care from manual therapists (MT), physiotherapists (PT), or general practitioners (GP).
The people receiving manual therapy had the quickest improvement rate. After 7 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 compute costs of treatments, the researchers looked at direct costs such as appointments with the healthcare provider and the prices of prescription drugs, as well as secondary expenses like work absences and travel time. The manual therapy group had substantially reduced costs, with patients spending only a third of the costs spent by those in the PT and GP groups. On average, 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 reported missed work as a result of neck pain, compared to twelve in the PT group and fifteen in the GP group.
The reduced cost likely stemmed from the fact that MT patients were using considerably less prescription drugs and needed fewer treatment interventions due to quicker recovery rates. The authors determined that manual therapy, particularly spinal mobilization, is less expensive and more effective at treating neck pain than physical therapy or treatment from a general practitioner.
Dr. Sweeney has worked with many patients who have been affected by neck pain. If you live in Nashville, TN and would like to stop battling with chronic neck pain, give our office a call at (615) 331-7040 for an assessment.