Treatment of patients with low back pain: A comparison of physical therapy and chiropractic manipulation

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Abstract

Low back pain (LBP) is a pandemic and costly musculoskeletal condition in the United States (U.S.). Patients with LBP may endure surgery, injections, and expensive visits to emergency departments. Some suggest that using physical therapy (PT) or chiropractic in the earlier stage of LBP reduces the utilization of expensive health services and lowers the treatment costs. Given that there are costs and benefits with each of these treatments, the remaining question is in a short period of time which of these treatments is optimal. The purpose of this study was to investigate the cost-effectiveness of chiropractic versus PT in the U.S. A decision tree analytic model was used for estimating the economic outcomes. The findings showed that the total average cost in the chiropractic group was $48.56 lower than the PT group. The findings also showed that the daily adjusted life years (DALY) in the chiropractic group was 0.0043 higher than the PT group. Chiropractic care was shown to be a cost-effective alternative compared with PT for adults with at least three weeks of LBP over six months.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number44
JournalHealthcare (Switzerland)
Volume8
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Health Informatics
  • Health Policy
  • Health Information Management
  • Leadership and Management

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