MECHANICAL LOW-BACK PAIN: A COMPARISON OF MEDICAL AND CHIROPRACTIC MANAGEMENT WITHIN THE VICTORIAN WORKCARE SCHEME
 
   

Mechanical Low-Back Pain: A Comparison of Medical
and Chiropractic Management Within
the Victorian WorkCare Scheme

This section is compiled by Frank M. Painter, D.C.
Send all comments or additions to:
   Frankp@chiro.org
 
   

FROM:   Chiropractic Journal of Australia 1992 (Jun);   22 (2):   4753

Ebrall, Phillip


This was a retrospective study of all work-related low back pain claimants within a twelve-month period in Victoria, Australia, drawing on the database of the Victoria Accident Compensation Commission and comparing costs of outcomes between chiropractic and medical care. The study found that:

1)   there was a significantly lower number of claimants requiring compensation days when chiropractic management was chosen;

2)   there were fewer compensation days taken by claimants who received chiropractic management;

3)   a greater number of patients progressed to chronic status when medical management was chosen and;

4)   there was a greater average payment per claim with medical management ($2308.10) versus chiropractic management ($963.47).

The investigator concluded that if the Victorian chiropractors managed up to 40% of low back pain cases (substituting medical care) then the direct savings within the Victorian WorkCare scheme for the study period would have been $10 million over 7,482 claims.

A retrospective study was made of all work-related mechanical low-back (MLBP) claimants within a twelve-month period in Victoria, Australia. Two matched samples were identified where management was solely by either a chiropractor or a medical practitioner.

Comparisons of costs and outcomes were made between the two samples with the results being:

(i)   a significantly lower number of claimants requiring compensation days when chiropractic management was chosen,

(ii)   fewer compensation days taken by claimants who received chiropractic management,

(iii)   a greater number of patients progressed to chronic status when medical management was chosen, and

(iv)   a greater average payment per claim with medical management.

A further result, namely, a higher average practitioner payment with chiropractic management, suggests a more intense level of practitioner/patient interaction by chiropractors. These results demonstrate a significant benefit to the community by chiropractic participation within the Victorian compensation scheme for work-related low-back pain.

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