Chiropractors & Employee Health

Posted by PHS Chiropractic on Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Chiropractors can play an important role in employee health, according to a new position paper by the nonprofit Foundation for Chiropractic Congress.

Back pain and other neuromuscular conditions are common in today's deskbound and smartphone-centric workplaces, but case studies presented in the paper demonstrate the value of having chiropractors working side by side with medical doctors at corporate health clinics, both in decreasing health care costs and improving patient satisfaction.

Chiropractic care such as adjustment offers a drug-free and non-invasive option for the care of common work-associated conditions like lower back pain. According to the paper, chiropractic care helped reduce the costs of radiology, outpatient, emergency and physical therapy services; improved neuromuscular function; demonstrated more improvement and higher satisfaction when compared to family medicine; had better outcomes, fewer surgeries and less opiod use. 

Corporate health clinics are expected to grow at a rate of 15 to 20 percent per year, according to the paper.

The Foundation for Chiropractic Progress (F4CP), a not-for-profit organization dedicated to raising awareness about the value of chiropractic care, announces the release of its landmark position paper, “The Growing Role of Doctors of Chiropractic in Corporate On-Site Clinics,” which reviews current industry trends, and articulates the role of chiropractic care to optimize clinical and financial management of neuro-musculoskeletal conditions among workforce populations. The paper was authored by industry luminaries Laura Carabello, principal, CPR Strategic Marketing Communications, Gerard Clum, DC, president emeritus, Life Chiropractic College West and director, The Octagon, Life University, and William Updyke, DC, leader, Physical and Complementary Medicine, LifeConnections Health Center, Cisco.

As cited in the white paper, Katelyn Johnson, Integrated Health Manage at Cisco, says, “At Cisco’s LifeConnections’ Health Center, having doctors of chiropractic working closely with the medical team has helped reduce our musculoskeletal spend, and patients consistently give high patient satisfaction scores. The integrated care team of chiropractors, acupuncturists, and physical therapists is critical to achieve our Patient Centered Medical Home model.”

Doctors of chiropractic are well trained and positioned as the first option for drug-free, noninvasive, evidence-based and effective back and general neuro-musculoskeletal pain management. In the workplace, low back pain (LBP) ranks second to upper respiratory conditions as a stated cause for loss of work, and treatment costs in the U.S. exceed $50 billion a year, reports Archives of Internal Medicine.

The position paper highlights reports sharing the advantages – financial, clinical and patient satisfaction – of including chiropractic care at on-site corporate health clinics to address neuro-musculoskeletal conditions:

  • On-site chiropractic services are associated with lower use and subsequent costs of radiology services, outpatient and emergency settings, and physical therapy, confirms the report, “Impact of Chiropractic Services at an On-Site Health Center.”
  • Chiropractic care offered at on-site corporate health clinics may promote less use of costly health care services, while improving neuro-musculoskeletal function, according to an article in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine.
  • Chiropractic patients with chronic LBP displayed greater improvement and satisfaction at the one-month marker than those treated by family physicians and more chiropractic patients (56 percent vs. 13 percent) reported that their LBP was better or much better, according to an article, “Patient characteristics, practice activities, and one-month outcomes for chronic, recurrent low-back pain treated by chiropractors and family medicine physicians: a practice-based feasibility study.”
  • Chiropractic patients showed better outcomes, less use of opioids, and had fewer back surgeries, with lower expenses, according to the report, “Health Maintenance Care in Work-Related Low Back Pain and Its Association with Disability Recurrence.”
  • Over 83 percent of respondents were satisfied or very satisfied with the level of chiropractic care, shared a survey by Simmons College in Boston, Massachusetts.

According to co-author, Dr. William Updyke, “For many companies, neuro-musculoskeletal complaints are the top reason employees consult a health care provider. Evidence confirms that chiropractic care is an obvious primary treatment approach that is ideal within on-site corporate health clinics. Furthermore, chiropractic offers hands-on treatment and healthy lifestyle advice to help employees stay well, a growing interest of employers.”

In addition to inclusion as a specialty service, chiropractic care demonstrates great value as a core offering of the on-site clinic. The position paper notes that Standard Process, a manufacturer of whole-food nutritional supplements, employs this approach and has reported significant cost savings, high patient satisfaction with statistical and clinical advancement in employee health episodes and lower long-term health risks as a result.

To further demonstrate the variety of inclusion arrangements, the paper surveyed a panel of doctors of chiropractic with varying levels of involvement and experience at on-site corporate health clinics:

  • Doug Endel, DC, clinic chiropractor, Modern Medical, Inc.
  • Blake Howard, DC, clinic chiropractor, Take Care Health Center
  • Curt Krause, DC, clinic chiropractor, Healthe Clinic, Cerner Corporation
  • Daniel Lord, DC, director of chiropractic services, Facebook
  • Mindy Mar, DC, chiropractor and physical rehabilitation specialist, ViaSat
  • William Updyke, DC, leader, Physical and Complementary Medicine, LifeConnections Health Center, Cisco

In the coming years, experts predict that on-site corporate health clinics will grow at a rate of 15-20 percent per year. Laura Carabello, strategic advisor, F4CP, and co-author, says, “Employers are wise to hire the right mix of providers – those who provide cost-effective, quality care. As the sector gains sophistication, I expect chiropractic will become a well-respected service offered at most on-site clinics.”

About Foundation for Chiropractic Progress

A not-for-profit organization, the Foundation for Chiropractic Progress informs and educates the general public about the many benefits associated with chiropractic care. To learn more about the Foundation, please visit or call 866-901-F4CP (3427).

Tags: chiropractic, back pain

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