A Publication of WTVP

In searching for a topic to discuss this month, I referred to some of my “crash” studies from the Spine Institute of San Diego. I reviewed a trial team study done by the United Kingdom. In a randomized trial, the cost effectiveness of the treatment of back pain in primary care was considered. The objective was to assess the cost of spinal manipulation (adjustment), exercise classes, or manipulation followed by exercise (combined treatment). There were 181 general practices and 63 community centers for physical treatment around 14 centers used across the United Kingdom. The evaluation team was measuring health care cost, quality, and adjusted life over the course of 12 months.

The cost of one year’s worth of spinal manipulation alone was 195 pounds ($360 U.S.); 3 to 278 pounds for exercise only; and 21 to 228 pounds for combined treatment. After these studies were carried out, the conclusion was that spinal manipulation is a cost-effective way to obtain the “best care for back pain in general practice.”

Manipulation alone probably gave the best value for the money, followed by manipulation combined with exercise. This study may be found in the British Medical Journal and on its web site at

In a study in which I participated approximately eight years ago, we realized overall back care was approximately a 9 to 1 ratio. This means chiropractic care was one-ninth the cost of medical treatment such as surgery. Because chiropractic care was able to address a problem sooner, the facts were built such as duration of injury parallel to the duration of healing. The study also tried to impress upon employers that chiropractic should be a natural health asset to their businesses. For example, an employee who’s injured has to be replaced, or overtime is offered to another employee to fill in the void left by the injured. When replacing a valuable employee, one needs to take into consideration replacement skills, production, and speed.

When many other disciplines of health begin treatment regimes, there are usually multiple time factors to consider, such as appointments and lengthy rehabilitation. For years, I’ve heard many employers complain about health care costs, but they refuse to address it. Employers should talk to companies who’ve increased their production potential and decreased injury exposure by using chiropractic care for their employees.

In conclusion, the words of a professor from 40 years ago still ring true today: “It’s truly easier to light one small candle than to curse an eternity of darkness.” IBI