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Conservative Care First: A Sensible, Effective Approach to Back and Neck Pain

American Chiropractic Association Launches Public Health Awareness Campaign - Arlington, Va.—During National Chiropractic Health Month (NCHM) this fall, the American Chiropractic Association is working with the more than 130,000 doctors of chiropractic (DCs), chiropractic assistants (CAs) and chiropractic doctoral students nationwide to help educate the public and policymakers about the value of a “conservative care first” approach to health care. This health care model encourages emphasis on more cost-effective and safer approaches over potentially addictive medications for pain management and health enhancement. Conservative management of painful conditions may include chiropractic manipulation combined with exercise and stretching prior to moving on to procedures involving higher risk. During NCHM in October, chiropractic physicians will be provided resources to help them share their conservative care first approach and why it is especially significant to today’s health care consumers. This in turn will help patients have well informed conversations with their health care providers, empowering them to become their own advocates by insisting on information about conservative treatment options. Why is “Conservative Care First” more important today than ever in facing our nation’s healthcare challenges?


    •    Numerous recent studies have clearly shown the dangerous overreliance in the U.S. on prescription painkillers that simply mask pain, but do not cure. This has tremendously increased Americans’ risk for overuse, and abuse, of these drugs if taken for long periods, leading to more than 17,000 related deaths in 2010 (more than heroin and cocaine combined). The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention calls the abuse of prescription pain medications an “epidemic.”


    •    Recent evidence questions the overuse--and in some cases the effectiveness--of more invasive treatments such as spinal fusion surgery and spinal steroid injections for back pain. It is reasonable for patients to exhaust more conservative options before undergoing these costly procedures.


    •    Chiropractic physicians are the highest-rated healthcare practitioners for low-back pain treatments with their patient-centered, whole-person approach that provides greater interaction and communication for appropriate diagnosis and developing more cost-effective treatment planning.


“People need complete information about their treatment options,” said ACA President Anthony Hamm, DC. “During National Chiropractic Health Month, DCs are encouraging patients to ask questions and learn about safe, effective conservative approaches that may help them avoid riskier and more costly treatments.”
For more tips on healthy, pain-free living, and references visit www.ChiroHealthy.com.

Author: American Chiropractic Association.
Source: American Chiropractic Association. July 28, 2014.