Being Overweight Does not Affect Outcome of Back Treatments, But Being Obese Does

How Likely Am I To Get Back Pain? Does BMI Play A Role?

A study published on December 12, 2015, in the journal Chiropractic & Manual Therapies showed that being overweight or underweight does not have a significant effect on the outcome of various lower back pain treatments. However, being obese did have a negative impact on the results of care. The study begins by reporting that nearly 30% of the world population reports suffering from back pain while 80% report back pain at some point in their lifetime.

Being Overweight Does not Affect Outcome of Back Treatments, But Being Obese Does - Austin Texas Chiropractor Best Car Accident Injury Doctor Help PainIn this study, 681 people with lower back pain were included. Data was collected from each of the participants about their history of back pain, demographics, occupation history, disability, health status and mental health status. The participants were enrolled into one of four treatment protocols: medical care only, medical care with physical therapy, chiropractic care only, or chiropractic care with the use of physical modalities.

The participants were all treated according to the protocol of the doctor they were assigned to, using one of the four types of care categories. Outcomes of care were measured at 2 weeks, 4 weeks, 6 weeks, and 6 months after the initial treatment. For the purposes of this study, a comparison of the various types of care was not made to see if one type of care was more effective than another. Only the effects of weight as measured by body mass index (BMI) were evaluated to see if it had an effect on the results of whatever type of care the person was receiving.

The results showed that, across all treatment protocols, people who were considered to be obese had a decreased chance of improvement with their lower back pain. This included all times of follow-up as well as all levels of pain. However, being overweight, but not considered obese, did not have a significant effect on the outcome of care for any of the categories of care. Similarly, those who were underweight also did not show any significant decrease in their percentage of recovery.

The study did show that those who were obese and lost weight during care did have a better chance at recovery, and those who gained weight during care reduced their chance even further. All other groups of people showed no statistical difference in their ability to recover based upon their weight, unless they were considered to be obese.

In their discussion the authors wrote,  Results of this study suggest that BMI is a relevant predictor of response to treatment. Obese participants are less likely to show improvement from LBP treatment regardless of the care they receive.  They also stated in their conclusion,  an association between obesity and less favorable treatment outcomes was inferred in this study. There appears to be an association between obesity and disability as well as obesity and subjective most severe pain.

If you or anyone you know could benefit from a better functioning nervous system, please call us at 512-452-2525 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Swanson. We are located in north central Austin, TX.


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Medicare Patients Using Chiropractic Reduce Costs

Is Chiropractic Care Cost Effective? By Seeing A Chiropractor Can I Avoid Surgery?

The January 2016 issue of the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics published a study titled, The Association Between Use of Chiropractic Care and Costs of Care Among Older Medicare Patients With Chronic Low Back Pain and Multiple Comorbidities. The study showed that patients on Medicare who used chiropractic care decreased overall costs compared to those who did not seek chiropractic.

Medicare Patients Using Chiropractic Reduce Costs - Austin TX Chiropractor Personal Injury from Car and Truck AccidentsThe study’s objective was to determine if seeing a chiropractor saved money in healthcare expenses for Medicare beneficiaries. Researchers conducted a retrospective review of services for chiropractic care on Medicare patients between the years of 2006 and 2012.

The study reported the results of 72,326 Medicare beneficiaries who were 66 years or older and had chiropractic services that were covered by Medicare. Medicare currently only pays for chiropractic care for adjustments of subluxations.

The study compared the cost of total care for patients who received just chiropractic, with those who received chiropractic and medical care, and those who only received medical care without chiropractic. The study also only reviewed those who were seen for chronic lower back problems in order to have consistency in comparing results.

The results of the study showed that those patients who only received chiropractic care had the lowest costs for the care for their problem. This highest cost of care were those who only received medical care. Those who received chiropractic also had a much lower chance of having spinal surgery. Additionally, those who only received chiropractic care had a better outcome in a shorter period of time.

In response to this study, Dr George Curry, president of the International Chiropractors Association commented, “This study highlights the fact that those who receive chiropractic save money on healthcare expenditures. Although this study specifically looked at Medicare patients who were suffering from lower back issues, it should not be a far leap to extrapolate this out to a number of health issues that people seek chiropractic for. Chiropractic care should be viewed as a real solution to the spiraling costs of medical care.”

If you or anyone you know could benefit from a better functioning nervous system, please call us at 512-452-2525 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Swanson.


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