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Workers' Compensation & Return To Work Studies

A number of workers' compensation studies have shown chiropractic care to be superior to medical care in the treatment of on the job back injuries. Chiropractors have been able to get their patients out of pain and back to work faster and with lower treatment costs.




The Utah Study - fewer costs and days lost

This 1988 Utah workers' compensation board study found a tenfold savings for mean compensation costs in back-related injuries treated by chiropractors as compared with medical doctors ($68.38 vs. $668.39). To ensure accurate and true results, only those back-related injuries with the same diagnostic codes were compared between the two treatment groups. Also, the medical treatments assessed were limited to nonsurgical medical treatments only.

  1. Cost per Case Comparison of Back Injury Claims of Chiropractic versus medical Management for Conditions with Identical Diagnostic Codes. Jarvis KB, et al. Journal of Occupational Medicine - 1991;33:847-52.

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The Florida Study - shorter disability/lower costs/lower hospitalization rates

This large State of Florida study examined 10,652 patients who sustained back-related injuries on the job. Their findings revealed that individuals who received chiropractic care compared with standard medical care for similar diagnoses experienced had a

  1. 51.3 percent shorter temporary total disability duration
  2. lower treatment cost by 58.8 percent ($558 vs. $1,100 per case)
  3. 20.3 percent hospitalization rate in the chiropractic care group vs. 52.2 percent rate in the medical care group.
  1. An Analysis of Florida Workers' Compensation Medical Claims for Back Related Injuries. Wolk S. Foundation for Chiropractic Education and Research, Arlington, VA. - 1988.

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The California Study - chiropractic patients get back to work sooner

In this study, Richard Wolf, M.D. followed 500 individuals sent for chiropractic treatments and 500 individuals sent to medical doctors for treatment. Those who received chiropractic treatments returned to work in an average of 15.6 days vs. 32 days in those who received treatments from medical doctors.

  1. Industrial Back Injury. Wolf CR. International Review of Chiropractic - 1974;26:6-7.

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The Oregon Study - chiropractic gets individuals back to work, and fast!

This Oregon study found that individuals with workers' compensation claims returned to work significantly faster under chiropractic care compared with medical care. In fact, under chiropractic care 82% were able to return to work after one week compared with only 41% in those who received medical care.

  1. A Study of Time Loss Back Claims. Portland, OR. Workers' Compensation Board, State of Oregon, March 1971.

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The Australian Study - cost & pain-relief effective with a lower chronicity rate

In this Australian study, 1,996 workers' compensation cases were evaluated in patients who experienced work-related mechanical low back pain. It was found that those individuals who received chiropractic care for their back pain returned to work 4 times faster (6.26 days vs. 25.56 days) and had treatment that cost 4 times less ($392 vs. $1,569) than those who received treatments from medical doctors. Also, in those patients who received chiropractic care there was a significantly lower incidence of progression to a chronic low back pain status.

  1. Mechanical Low-Back Pain: A Comparison of Medical and Chiropractic Management Within the Victorian Work Care Scheme. Ebrall, PS. Chiropractic Journal of Australia - 1992;22:47-53.

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The Manga Report - back to work, and fast

According to this Canadian government commissioned study,

"...injured workers ... diagnosed with low-back pain returned to work much sooner when treated by chiropractors than by physicians."

  1. The Effectiveness and Cost Effectiveness of Chiropractic Management of Low-Back Pain (The Manga Report). Pran Manga and Associates (1993) - University of Ottawa, Canada.

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