Suffering with neck pain in San Francisco or Sunnyvale? Did you know that chiropractic care has been shown to be the most economical way to help you recover? Dr. Stern is here to help you. Give our office a call at (415) 308-7636 today.

Over the years, we have helped many people in San Francisco recover from persistent neck pain. This isn't surprising, as research demonstrates that chiropractic care leads to significant improvements for 94% of neck pain patients. But how does chiropractic contrast to other conservative treatments in the management of neck pain?

To answer this question, it's helpful to look back at an important study from 2003 published in the British Medical Journal. The study investigated various conservative therapies and concluded that manual therapy was the most economical option for neck pain.

Researchers from the Netherlands were interested in evaluating not only the costs associated with manual therapy but how successfully manual therapy delivered relief when compared to other treatments. They randomly assigned 183 patients with acute neck pain to receive care from manual therapists (MT), physiotherapists (PT), or general practitioners (GP). 

Patients receiving manual therapy had the fastest improvement rate. After seven weeks of treatment, 68% of the MT group had recovered, as opposed to 51% of the PT group and 36% of the GP group. These differences in improvement rates were still statistically significant after 26 weeks but not after 52 weeks.

To compute costs of treatments, the researchers looked at direct costs such as visits to the healthcare provider and the costs of prescription drugs, in addition to indirect costs like work absenteeism and travel time. The manual therapy group had significantly lower costs, with patients spending only a third of the costs spent by patients in the PT and GP groups. On average, manual therapy patients had roughly $611 in costs as opposed to $1773 in the physiotherapy group and $1885 in the general practitioner group (or 447 euros, 1297 euros, and 1379 euros, respectively). Only 9 patients in the MT group documented missed work due to neck pain, compared to 12 in the PT group and 15 in the GP group.

The reduced cost likely stemmed from the fact that MT patients were using significantly less prescription drugs and required fewer treatment interventions due to quicker recovery rates. The authors concluded that chiropractic is less costly and more effective at treating neck pain than physiotherapy or treatment from a general practitioner.

Dr. Stern has worked with many people who have suffered from neck pain. If you live in San Francisco or Sunnyvale and would like to stop suffering from chronic neck pain, give our office a call at (415) 308-7636 for a consultation.

Korthals-de Bos IB, et al. Cost effectiveness of physiotherapy, manual therapy, and general practitioner. British Medical Journal 2003;326:911.