Every year in the US alone, $300 billion is spent on pain treatment – mostly for neck or back pain. Roughly two-thirds of the population has pursued treatment for this at some point. Luckily, today there are better options such as physical therapy and chiropractic care. Unfortunately, medical licensing laws are making these options difficult to use.
According to research by the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, medical occupational licensing laws are negatively affecting the health care market. This includes the laws that require patients to see a physician before pursuing other treatments as well as laws that restrict medical professionals from performing certain tasks.
It was found that expanding the chiropractic practice, allowing them to perform other routine medical tasks, lead to an 8.6 percent increase in their income. How does this affect the patients receiving chiropractic care? Due to the legislative change, it was concluded that patients were more comfortable with the chiropractic services and the visits were about 35 percent less than before.
However, the typical US family is still choosing to see their family physician rather than a chiropractor, but why? There are a few reasons why this may be occurring. They may be happy with their physician or just complacent. Possibly they are unaware of alternative health care options. Or perhaps it is because physicians hold the power to terminate access to their competitors due to their position on medical licensing boards.
What is the big deal? More often, physicians prescribe invasive treatments like surgery and medication while chiropractors would not. Those treatments are not only more expensive but often come alongside many more health risks.
Chiropractors have not always had the authority to perform blood drawings or even discuss over-the-counter medications with patients. It wasn’t until the mid-1990’s that they earned the ability to do so. Having to seek the care of a physician prior to chiropractic visits lead to a lack of confidence and trust for chiropractic care. In the late-1970’s three states (California, Maryland and Nebraska) granted direct access to physical therapists and chiropractors without physician referral – giving patients freedom to seek alternative healthcare options. By the mid-1990’s several other states began allowing chiropractors to perform blood drawings and therefore permitting direct access for patients.
Fortunately, all states today allow patients direct access to chiropractors and physical therapists. Unfortunately, there are still many limitations such as restricting the number of visits a patient can make to a chiropractor without a physician referral.
In severe cases, surgery could be necessary or perhaps may be the only viable option. However, most often the non-invasive, less expensive treatment of chiropractic care is the best solution. Sadly, physicians hold the power over chiropractors due to their position on the state medical licensing boards.
To find out more about how chiropractic care is the best treatment for your neck or back pain, call Algonquin Chiropractic Center today! We offer a wide range of non-invasive treatments for all types of aches and pains.
Algonquin Chiropractic Center
2210 Huntington Drive North
Algonquin, IL 60102