Monday, September 22, 2014

The Most Disabling Disease in the World

So what do you think could be the most disabling disease in the world today? Diabetes, Cancer, Heart Disease, Malaria, well the answer is no to all those conditions. Lower back pain is the most disabling disease worldwide today.
Here are some facts; effects more people than AIDS, breast and lung cancer, malaria, stroke, diabetes, Alzheimer's disease, depression or traffic accidents. Sadly in third world country's many people that suffer disabling lower back pain will die from starvation due to the inability to earn and living and lack of a social program to help them. The Global burden of disease is moving away from infectious disease like malaria to musculoskeletal disorders. It effects women more than men, rural more than urban, poor more than wealthy. There is an estimate that in the U.S. if you take health care costs, disability, and lost productivity the result is $250 billion a year which is equal to all the gold in Fort Knox. So what does current research tell us. Well one thing it shows is that the more we spend the worse the patient gets. A study by orthopedist, Richard Deyo, M.D. demonstrated that procedures such as spinal injections were up 600%, opioid prescriptions were up over 400%, MRI's are up over 300%, and lower back surgery is up 220% over the last 10 years. So these expensive procedures are way up but so is the rate of disability it has jumped from 20 to 30%. So what works? Well I know I sound like a broken record but NSAID (aspirin, ibuprofen, and Alleve) spinal manipulation and exercise therapy have been shown to work the best, cost the least, and prevent disability. The University of Pittsburgh Medical Plan has mandated that MDs must send a patient to a chiropractor or physical therapist before they see an orthopedic surgeon or pain management doctor if the patient has chronic lower back pain. The chiropractic profession is currently working with a company made up of researchers, MDs, pain management doctors which would like to try something radically different in the treatment of lower back pain. They want to send anyone with lower back pain to a chiropractor or physical therapist first before seeing a medical doctor. They have suggested that one insurance company alone could save $30-40 million/year out of a lower back surgery budget of $50 million/year. That is quite a bit of savings up to 60-80%. This approach has been attempted and it was found that the chiropractors could successfully treat 83% of the patients that came into their office. The other 16% were referred out to specialists. Out of the 83% successfully treated 95% rated their care as excellent. So we are working on trying to improve care and outcomes. I don't know if something like this will really catch on but I think it is worth a try.

If you like this blog please share it with others.

Suffering from back or neck pain give modern chiropractic a try and call our office at (512) 556-8223.

No comments:

Post a Comment