Some Of My Patients Have Become Annoying

By Dr. Rick Morris

“You have to see my chiropractor! He’s the only one that’s ever helped me. I’ve seen so many doctors and was even told that I’d needed surgery. Thank God I found him. I spent years taking Motrin, moved to Celebrex and then to Vioxx. I’ve been told its stress, a disc herniation, a pinched nerve and even nothing at all. It seemed like a terrible dream. I’m calling right now and making you an appointment. You’ve been in pain long enough.”

 

Yes…they’re annoying and there are about 35 million of them each year and growing. They are an adamant group--“born again” ex-pain sufferers. Men and women who were no longer able to play tennis, sit comfortably or even sleep without pain medication. They’ll do anything to prevent others from going down the same path they had gone.

So, for all of you annoying people, here’s some real ammunition to go out and save the world. The actual studies that prove what you’ve lived through.

Comparing Lost Days From Work Due To Back Pain (for the same or similar conditions):


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Comparing The Costs For Treatment And Disability (for the same or similar conditions):


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What about The Studies That Measure Patient Satisfaction?

When it comes to back pain, every study shows greater patient satisfaction with chiropractic compared to medical care (e.g. the Western Journal of Medicine, The Spine, JMPT…).

There Must Be, At Least, One Article That Shows Less Patient Satisfaction With Chiropractic Treatment?

No. That’s right, I’ve taught research outcomes since 1992 and have not seen one peer reviewed, journal that showed medical care surpassing chiropractic care for back pain. Not one!

I’m Sure There Are Studies That Show Chiropractic Is Less Effective Or More Costly For The Treatment Of Back Pain

As far as effectiveness…the answer is still…NO. Occasionally articles report that chiropractic is “no more effective” than medicine, but even that is unusual.

As to the question of cost…now that’s where things get interesting. Articles sometimes claim that chiropractic treatment is more expensive than medical care. But let’s look a little closer. These studies compared “total doctor costs” not “total treatment costs.” To understand the difference, you must know that Chiropractic doctor costs includes x-rays, physical therapy, rehabilitation since they are usually performed and billed by the doctor himself. Medical doctor costs include just the visit to your doctor. The physical therapist, prescriptions, x-rays and often MRIs, injections and surgery are billed elsewhere. One can now understand why the chiropractic “doctor costs” are sometimes more than the medical “doctor costs.” But, the total treatment costs are nearly always lower for chiropractors because MDs more often order surgery, medications, and injections. But the greatest expense comes from disability—the time we miss from work while in pain. For the same injury, chiropractic patients are disabled less frequently and for a shorter period of time.

I apologize for these broad statements. Not every chiropractor does good work, is fair and responsible and not every orthopedic races off to surgery. That is definitely not true and goes without saying. Research looks at trends; if 1,000 people see MDs and DCs, what are their likely outcomes. We work to be exceptional—not average. We give the best chiropractic care—not just adequate.

To All My Annoying Patients…

I can’t imagine nerve pressure, disc bulges and spinal misalignments becoming chronic or permanent for any of you, especially when I can stop it. In fact, the Mayo Clinic recently reported that 4 out of 5 people will be disabled due to back pain at some point in their life. The likelihood of their recovery depended on the prevention and treatment they received.

Have a healthy 2004, one that is full of love and happiness…Drs. Rick Morris, Brendan Murray, Chris Souders and April Hopson

P.S. Thank you for being so annoying…Please keep it up!

 

THE MORRIS SPINAL STENOSIS & DISC CENTER

Rick H. Morris, D.C., C.C.S.P., Q.M.E., A.B.A.A.H.P.
Brendan M. Murray, D.C., D.A.C.B.S.P., Q.M.E.

1243 7th Street, Suite B, Santa Monica, California 90401
tel: 310-451-5851 | fax:310-458-0051
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