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A Snapshot of Chiropractic Care Delivery


When we think about chiropractic care, we often struggle to quantify exactly how many people are seeking this type of treatment and the degree of which other members of the medical community are not trusting of this discipline. Sure, there is a lot of talk about how much of a difference chiropractic care can make in the patient’s musculoskeletal health, but how many people are actually receiving this care, and how is it helping? The United States Department fo Health and Human Services’ National Institutes of Health have provided us with some insight into just how common chiropractic care delivery is and the level of frequency in which patients are seeking this type of care.

The institute that focuses on any sort of chiropractic care research and understanding is the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. This institute has gathered some data surrounding the pursuit of chiropractic care and some of the financial implications involved in this type of care. While the data was collected in 2007, it can be useful in determining how chiropractic care has changed in comparison to more current data.

In 2007, a nationwide survey revealed that about 8% of adults and 3% of children had received some sort of chiropractic care, namely osteopathic manipulation. In terms of complementary health approaches for back pain, 74% of respondents who had sought out a complementary health approach for their back pain had elected chiropractic care over acupuncture or massage therapy. 66% of this population reported “great benefit” in their care.

Going a step further into the cost-effectiveness of chiropractic care, the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health highlighted $11.9 billion out-of-pocket costs as allocated to chiropractic care. $3.9 billion of this was allocated specifically to chiropractic visits. This is significantly lower than many other medical services and care delivery options that were procured in the same year.

Overall, this survey analysis was quite positive, and we have seen many projects like it trending in the right direction since 2007. Today, chiropractic care is sought out at a much higher frequency and it is gaining momentum in the medical community.

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Used under Creative Commons Licensing courtesy of Alisha Vargas

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