It turns out chiropractic care can reduce the number of trips you take to the doctor if you’re older, according to a study conducted in 2021. Using data from Medicare, the study’s authors collected data from about 39,000 older adults who regularly used chiropractic care but had recently moved to a new location where chiropractors weren’t as readily available. Among those whose access to chiropractors had decreased, the number of visits to a primary care doctor for spine-related conditions increased 32 visits a year per 1,000 people. The number of opioid prescriptions among those who lost access to chiropractic care also increased. This, in turn, increased the cost of care for these patients by a rate of $114,967 per 1,000 people when both visits to their primary care providers and spinal surgeries are taken into account.
According to a 2011 study, approximately 30 percent of older adults suffer from back pain; 16 percent suffer from neck pain. Unlike younger adults, back and neck pain in older patients is more likely to lead to mobility issues and future recurring pain and injury.
Since 1970, Medicare has covered chiropractic care as an option for its beneficiaries. This study shows that the investment in chiropractic care has reduced not just the use of other medical services, but also the overall cost paid out to providers for these beneficiaries.
Most importantly, this study shows that patients who use chiropractic care are in less pain overall when they have ready access to a chiropractor.
If you’re ready to schedule a session with Dr. Laird and discuss opportunities to feel better, contact our office to make an appointment.