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The Role of Insurance Coverage in the Richmond Back Surgery or Non-Surgical Care Choice

“Back surgery is one of the most overused types of surgery as well as the most common ailment that sends patients to doctors, chiropractors, and physical therapists,” reports Crain’s Detroit Business magazine’s article called Health Insurers Look for Ways to Cut Costs with Back Surgery. What a way to begin an article! It goes on:

  • $90 billion on low back pain alone a year
  • 1.2 million spinal surgeries annually
  • $60,000 to $110,000 per lumbar fusion surgery (the fastest-growing type of surgery in the past 10 years)

The back surgery failure rate, the so-called “failed back syndrome” or the more “politically correct” term “post-surgical continued pain syndrome,” may be as high as 50%. (1) With healthcare spending in the US over $3.5 trillion - $10,739 a person – it’s no wonder that insurers seek another way to cut costs, particularly when one-third of the money is spent for hospital care of chronic illnesses. (2) Johnson Chiropractic is well-equipped and knowledgeable in offering non-hospital-based care to help Richmond back pain – chronic and acute – patients get relief of and handle their back pain – and post-surgical continued back pain - without surgery.

LOW BACK PAIN FACTS

Low back pain is the leading reason of years lived with disability around the world. Today, guidelines for low back pain relief care discourage pain medications, steroid injections and spine surgery and encourage physical therapy and psychological therapy. Healthcare systems have a tendency to struggle with these novel approaches. Why? Pharmaceutical companies’ financial interests, old payment systems that favor medical care, outdated traditions, and legal, personal, political, and societal beliefs of us all. These thoughts are shared in the Bulletin of the World Health Organization, believe it or not. (3) Johnson Chiropractic reads this with interest.

BACK SURGERY CHOICE

In light of these facts, it’s not hard to believe that some back pain sufferers will choose back surgery over non-surgical care of their back pain. “Patients go where insurance pays, even if it is surgery.” In one study, back pain sufferers chose to see a primary care physician (PCP) or physical therapist (PT) or chiropractor initially based on their health plan type, co-payment, and deductible. Modifying these things to make them more valuable/less expensive/less restrictive as to provider type could encourage low back pain sufferers to choose non-hospital, conservative treatment rather than back surgery. (4) Johnson Chiropractic is all for this! Less than 1% of back pain sufferers require back surgery. (5) Johnson Chiropractic is prepared to help the rest of the Richmond back pain sufferers manage their back pain and rework their lifestyles to live with the spine they have and cope with its episodes of pain and relief.

RECURRENT BACK PAIN

Richmond back pain sufferers are in good company if their back pain returns. It happens. It’s controllable. It’s manageable. Some facts first: Within a year of recovery, 69% of patients experienced another episode of back pain of some sort. What risks spark a return of back pain? Awkward postures, long sitting times, and more than 2 prior back pain experiences. (6) It is ok though. Truly! Johnson Chiropractic helps Richmond back pain patients navigate these recurrences and manage them so they do not limit anyone’s enjoyment of life.  We have a treatment plan!

CONTACT Johnson Chiropractic

Listen to Dr. Kimble Cater on The Back Doctors Podcast with Dr. Michael Johnson share how he helped an expectant mother with her repeated episodes of back pain. Whether you are pregnant or not, Richmond chiropractic care at Johnson Chiropractic can help you cope with repeated episodes of back pain, too.

Schedule a Richmond chiropractic appointment at Johnson Chiropractic for back pain relief. Our care is not overused!  The gentle, effective, evidence-based system of Cox® Technic look for 50% relief within 4-6 weeks of care and often gets 70%, 80%, 90% and greater for many of our patients at less cost – in terms of finances and lifestyle – than back surgery.

Johnson Chiropractic realizes that back pain sufferers may choose their back pain treatment option based on insurance coverage. If insurance pays for back surgery, will you choose that?  
 
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