Chiropractic More Widely Used for Worker’s Compensation

           According to research published in the July, 2000 issue of the Journal of the American Chiropractic Association, chiropractic is more effective at getting injured workers back to work faster and for less cost than standard medical care. The effectiveness of chiropractic to help injured workers is wearing down the medical prejudice against chiropractic. As a result, medical doctors are referring more patients with work-related injuries to chiropractors.

Several studies comparing medical and chiropractic care for work- related back injury, reflect favorably on chiropractic. One study showed that chiropractic consistently offered a 2-to-1 superiority in results. Chiropractic care is also cheaper; another study found that treatment costs in cases managed by doctors of chiropractic increased only 12% between 1986 and 1989, compared to treatment costs for cases handled by medical doctors, which increased by over 70% during the same period. Doctors interviewed for the article report that the most common injuries they treat are back injuries. Also common are postural-type strains to the neck and upper back and repetitive strain injuries, such as carpal tunnel syndrome and tendonitis.

Chiropractic adjustments have proven effective in reducing pain and returning employees to work sooner, but worker’s compensation laws vary so much around the country and there is still some lingering medical bias against the profession. As a result, some injured workers are prevented from seeing a chiropractor.

There is some confusion with certain employers. Some managers in small to medium sized companies may not understand their responsibilities as employers. Some do not even know that injured workers are allowed to see chiropractors.

There is still some medical bias against chiropractic in America, more so than in other countries. For example, the Japanese favor the most cost-effective healthcare provider, but American companies favor medical doctors, even when chiropractic may be less expensive or more effective. The prejudice against chiropractors is eroding because of the effectiveness of chiropractic and because of the lower cost—saving money for companies and their insurers.