Statistics tell us that up to 84% of the general population will report low back pain (LBP) symptoms at some point during their lifetime. This leads employers seeking to maximize the ratio of outcomes achieved relative to costs incurred (ie, value) for the investments that they are making in their employees. Previous research has found that patients receiving chiropractic care have been found to record lower associations of probability of disability recurrence than patients of physicians and physical therapists. Given these findings, the authors of this newly published article sought to assess the cost outcomes of treatment approaches to care for back problems in a major self-insured workforce, using published guidelines to focus on low back pain. Results of the study were that care congruent with 10 of 11 guidelines was linked to lower total costs. Of the ﬁve patterns of care, complex medical management reported the highest guideline-incongruent use of imaging, surgeries, and medications and had the highest health care costs. On the other hand, chiropractic reported the lowest rates of guideline-incongruent use of imaging, surgeries, and medications and had the lowest health care costs.
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