Chiropractic Costs: A National Perspective

Chiropractic Costs: A National Perspective

First national study of CAM / chiropractic expenditures for spine conditions finds neither adds to overall medical spending.

By Peter W. Crownfield, Executive Editor

While health care conversations increasingly mention chiropractic care as a viable option for back and neck pain – and research increasingly supports its utility from a clinical standpoint – a recent nationwide study of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM)-related health care expenditures by 12,000-plus adults (ages 17 and older) with spinal conditions lends support to the suggestion that CAM in general, and chiropractic specifically, is also a cost-effective alternative to traditional medical care.

Although CAM users had “significantly better self-reported health, education and comorbidity compared with non-CAM users” – variables critics have relied on in previous studies to explain why CAM users have lower health care expenditures” – the current study revealed that even when controlling for these variables, CAM users had lower annual medical costs ($424 lower) for spine-related conditions and lower total health care costs ($796 lower) than non-CAM users.

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