Pain management is a big business today. The US pain management market is the largest single market with sales of US$13 billion making up over half of the total market of pain management. In 2012, the US topical NSAIDs market was estimated to be worth US $500 million¹. Fitting chiropractic into this pain management model is essential in creating a medical model that is less about symptom only care and more about empowering people to become less drug dependent and more focused on addressing the underlying cause of their pain.
Pain – is a powerful motivator because it is more often the one thing that catapults someone off the couch and into my office. Most people will spend more on drug related symptom relief care in their life than they will on things that will create health and longevity. Why? Well many of my patients tell me it’s because their insurance company covers it. Secondly, because pain motivates to people to spend on things that make their pain go away. The great thing about pain relievers is the instant gratification of pain relief. But, it is temporary and they can promote the very condition causing the pain in the first place. Pain reliving medications only address the pain, not the problem causing the pain. So people take more, and more until the problem becomes bad enough that they need something more powerful like cortisone injections, nerve blocks, or ultimately surgery. And well, if you didn’t know, surgery is painful so they can give you more pain medications for that too. And hopefully the pain generator is addressed finally, but in the meantime, what was the price you had to pay? And I am not just talking about from your wallet. The effects on the kidneys, liver, and digestive system can be serious also.
What if your insurance company started to pay for things that prevent pain? Like regular exercise and proper nutrition? What if they gave you significant discounts for maintaining a healthy weight and blood profile of HDL cholesterol and blood pressure under 120/80 mmHg? This could drastically change the way many western medical doctors practice and possibly positively impact the overall health status of the US. Don’t get me wrong here; I am not against pain medications in general. I am against the chronic over use and abuse of pain relieving medications over time and the lack of proper education to the public by their doctors to show them how to get off these medications and on to a healthier lifestyle of pain prevention. This has been the model chiropractors have been preaching for over 100 years.
The Good News: Many insurances cover chiropractic to address the underlying cause of the pain without drugs or surgery. It is my goal to help patients understand the underlying condition causing their pain and then use proven techniques to decrease pain and inflammation naturally. My prescriptions are nutritionally based, natural, and effective. My treatment is the use of biomechanics – gently moving the body in ways that relieve pain, break up scar tissue, decrease stiffness, stimulate nerve function, improve joint motion, and strengthen associated muscles to prevent pain from coming back. This is called chiropractic care. It is the way of the future, and probably the only way we can dig ourselves out of medical debt for good. Cost analysis has also shown that a regular visit to the chiropractor is cheaper than traditional medical management for pain2. No insurance or no chiropractic benefits? Our monthly wellness visits are cheaper than most gym memberships.
While pain is a powerful motivator to come into my practice, don’t wait until it is too late for you. Early detection and intervention is the key to getting rid of a problem before it becomes a chronic pain that has to be managed over time. Give us a call at Allen Chiropractic in Mission Viejo to schedule your wellness checkup today and find out how you can better prevent pain from being your motivator.
1. Business Insights, “The Pain Management Market Outlook To 2016″, 2011.
2. Chiropractic Again Shown to Be More Cost-Effective: New Study Compares Chiropractic to Medical Care in the “Real-World” Setting. Dynamic Chiropractic. Nov 30, 2004, Vol 22, Issue 25. http://www.chiroweb.com/archives/22/25/07.html