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Thousands of Minnesotans with Back and Neck Pain Don’t Seek Treatment

June 12, 2013

Most Unaware of Chiropractic Option Within Their Health Plans

Minneapolis – June 13, 2013 – Thousands of Minnesotans are needlessly suffering from untreated back and neck pain because they are unclear about chiropractic treatment options covered by their health plans, says a survey from ChiroCare, the largest independent network of credentialed chiropractors in the upper Midwest, based in Shoreview.

What’s more, many of those untreated pain sufferers admit back and neck pain is causing them to make mistakes at work or miss work altogether. View a brief recap by Chiropractic Care of Minnesota, Inc. (CCMI) CEO Tabatha Erck below.

The phone survey conducted in April 2013 queried 651 Minnesota adults who complained of having back and neck pain, and asked why they did not seek treatment from a chiropractor. Sixty-five percent did not know if their health insurance plan covered chiropractic services (even though most Minnesota health plans do);

  • 70 percent were under the impression that they needed a doctor’s referral to see a chiropractor (although referrals are not traditionally needed anymore); and
  • Respondents overestimated the actual cost of chiropractic care by 68 percent (costs can be as low as $45 per treatment).

“Study after study shows that the majority of adults – approximately 80 percent of us – will suffer back and/or neck pain at some point in our lives,” said Tabatha Erck, CEO of Chiropractic Care of Minnesota, Inc. (CCMI), which offers ChiroCare, a network of providers who make chiropractic services available to 1.1 million eligible members of ChiroCare’s contracted health insurance customers. “The fact that so many Minnesotans are needlessly suffering because they don’t have all the facts about access and coverage is a clear call to action for health plans and employers to provide specific education about chiropractic as an effective, noninvasive treatments for these prevalent health conditions.”

“A 2011 Consumer Reports survey of subscribers found that 59 percent said chiropractic treatment provided the most satisfaction in terms of reducing back pain,” Erck said. “Chiropractic was the rated highest of all treatment options.”

Impact of Back and Neck Pain In The Minnesota Workplace  

Of special interest to employers, the survey results show:

  • Respondents who reported they had not sought chiropractic care for their pain were twice as likely to miss work than respondents who had seen a chiropractor.
    • Respondents who reported suffering neck pain were three times more likely to make mistakes at work than those who reported back pain – and fully one in five admitted their pain had caused them to make mistakes at work.
    • Surprisingly, Minnesotans with sedentary jobs are much more likely to experience back/neck pain (28.2 percent of respondents) than those who are employed to perform physical labor (17.8 percent).

“It’s no secret that back and neck pain are major contributors to reduced workplace productivity,” Erck said. “Our survey findings are another indication that everyone in Minnesota, from employers to employees, health plans to health providers, need to work together to help those in pain resolve their issues as efficiently, cost effectively, and with the highest level of satisfaction as possible.”

Visit ChiroCare’s blog Spinal Viewpoint for a video with more insight from Tabatha Erck into the findings of the survey.

Q Market Research, Eagan, Minnesota, conducted the ChiroCare survey in April 2013. The survey company surveyed 1,041 Minnesotans with back and neck pain within the past year, and surveyed 651 who had not seen a chiropractor. The results are statistically valid at a 95 percent confidence level within +/- 3.8 percent.

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Spinal Viewpoint Blog