SAN JOSE, California., May 20, 2021 / PRNewswire / – The Foundation for Chiropractic Progress (F4CP), a nonprofit organization dedicated to educating the public about the benefits of chiropractic care, applauds the findings of a recent study published in the peer-reviewed journal Spine. that a treatment administered more frequently by chiropractic (DC) physicians is much safer than opioids to control chronic low back pain (LBP).
The study, “The initial choice of manipulative spine therapy for the treatment of chronic low back pain leads to a reduced long-term risk of adverse drug events among older Medicare beneficiaries,” found that harmful medication-related incidents occurred 42 times more often in patients who were the first. prescribed opioids compared to patients who first received spinal manipulative therapy (SMT). According to a recent analysis of claims data covering 12 months of experience in a commercially insured national population, DCs deliver nearly 97% of SMTs to the U.S. Adverse drug events may include medication errors, overdose, or other pharmacological reactions that cause harm to the patient.
“This groundbreaking study adds to the growing volume of research that opioids are not only ineffective in treating low back pain, but are dangerous for patients, especially the elderly,” he said. Sherry McAllister, DC, president of the F4CP. “Manipulative spine therapy, a drug-free approach that is overwhelmingly provided by chiropractic physicians, is a substantially safer long-term approach that yields better results. This is compelling evidence that SMT should be a first-line treatment for older adults with chronic back pain. “
A drug-free approach
The study’s authors, who included DCs, doctors, and other health researchers, analyzed five-year Medicare claims data for people ages 65 to 84 who had a chronic LBP episode in 2013. They compared people seniors who only received outpatient opioid therapy who received only SMT, as well as those who switched therapy, seeking patients who experienced an adverse drug event at any time.
Even when patient characteristics and health status were monitored, the adjusted rate of adverse drug events was more than 42-fold higher in patients who received opioids first compared with those who initially received SMT. .
The study supports other recently published research demonstrating the effectiveness of SMT on opioids. For example, in February, the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA Network Open) published a study that found that the transition from acute to chronic low LBP increased correspondingly with early exposure to inconsistent patterns, such as prescribing. of opioids.
Payment reform is needed
Low back pain is the leading cause of disability in the United States, which accounts for twice the burden of any other health condition. Treatment for LBP and related spine disorders now represents the most expensive medical problem in the United States, with most of the costs accruing in outpatient settings, including primary care. Chronic LBP contributes more to long-term disability, morbidity, health, and social costs.
Given the significant impact of chronic LBP on patients and the economy, F4CP advocates the adoption of the Chiropractic Medicare Coverage Modernization Act (HR 2654), which was introduced in the State House of Representatives. United in April. The bill, in its current draft, requires the Medicare and Medicaid Service Center (CMS) to cover non-SMT treatments provided by DCs, such as joint mobilization, physiological therapies, soft tissue massage techniques, and others, which are already covered by commercial health plans and the Veterans Administration.
“Millions of seniors and other patients rely on their chiropractors for a wide range of services beyond manipulative spine therapy to help them achieve their goals of pain control, mobility and overall health.” , added Dr. McAllister. “We encourage CMS to review a payment policy that hasn’t been updated in nearly 50 years.”
In addition, patients with chronic LBP who received SMT from a DC had lower costs, fewer days of disability, and more days without pain than the control group (source: Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics). Similarly, the SMT delivered by a DC combined with the recommended exercises at home also resulted in better results for older people with chronic neck pain and costs almost half as much as home exercises and rehabilitation exercises. supervised, according to a study published in the Spine Journal in 2016.
Dr. McAllister continued: “We urge Congress to educate themselves on the optimal health outcomes that DCs help seniors achieve without opioids or drugs. Passing this important legislation is a step in the right direction toward reducing health care costs and, most importantly, improving the health and well-being of the elderly in our nation. ”
To access additional research in support of chiropractic care and the effectiveness of spinal manipulation, visit https://www.f4cp.org/new-research/.
About the Foundation for Chiropractic Progress
A non-profit foundation with nearly 29,000 members, the Foundation for Chiropractic Progress (F4CP) informs and educates the general public about the value of chiropractic care offered by chiropractic (DC) physicians and their role in pain management without medication. Visit www.f4cp.org/findadoctor; call 866-901-F4CP (3427).
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