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More people are visiting and paying for their care to go to chiropractors. This from a May 16, 2000 WebMD article reporting on a study published in the Journal of the Geriatric Society. That study of more than 800 patients showed that more than half of people over age 55 seek chiropractic care for mild to moderate complaints, without visiting their primary care provider.

The study conducted through 96 various chiropractic offices in 32 states and two Canadian provinces collected data on 805 eligible patients aged 55 years and older during a 12-week study period.

"Many of these baby boomers recognize that the old traditional model of health care that deals with trauma and emergency-type care is no longer applicable to a growing and aging population of chronic illness," said Jerome McAndrews, D.C., a chiropractor and a chiropractic spokesperson. "Sixty million people in the U.S. have used chiropractic -- 27 million in 1999 alone."

The article listed the following as vital information concerning people who go to chiropractors.

  • About half of people over age 55 see a chiropractor for mild to moderate complaints, usually low back pain.
  • Patients with more severe complaints tend to seek both traditional medical care and chiropractic care.
  • People who use chiropractic care are more likely to be focused on wellness, eating habits, and healthy lifestyles, and prefer not to take medications, according to a new report.

A study published on July 28, 2011 by the US Office of the Actuary at the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, revealed that by the year 2020 the cost of healthcare in the US will expand to $4.6 trillion per year. This study shows that healthcare spending is growing at a much faster pace than the US economy.

Several news outlets reported on the study including a July 28, 2011, article in the San Francisco Chronicle that posted some ominous facts about healthcare spending, noting that, "America's health care bill will jump from $2.7 trillion this year to $4.6 trillion in 2020. It will take $1 of every $5 in the economy instead of the current $1 out of $6 and go from $8,650 per capita up to $13,710."

A July 28, 2011, Health Day article published in the US News and World Reports that as we get closer to the year 2020, more and more of the total cost of healthcare will be picked up by the US government. Although still outpacing the economy, healthcare costs actually slowed in 2010 to only 3.9 percent growth. That number is expected to rise to over 8 percent as the new healthcare system is phased in, and the Baby Boomers get older and rely on more medical care.

Lead report author, Sean P. Keehan, an economist in the Office of the Actuary at the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services stated, "We have projected health care costs to grow at an average rate of 5.8 percent a year for 2010 to 2020."

Keehan also noted in the study that the growth of healthcare would have averaged 5.7 percent between 2010 and 2020 if there were no new "Affordable Care Act" commonly referred to as Obamacare. This means that the effect of the new healthcare system is only one tenth of one percent increase in cost. However, the author notes that, simultaneously, by 2020, nearly thirty million Americans are expected to gain health insurance coverage as a result of the Affordable Care Act.

Not everyone sees the increase in spending as a problem. Some note that some of the increase is for preventative and wellness services, thus saving money and promoting health. Richard Hamburg, deputy director of the non-partisan advocacy group Trust for America's Health, summed up his thoughts in the Health Day article by noting, "From our perspective, the great new investment in the Affordable Care Act is the attention to prevention and public health. Over time, investing in wellness and prevention programs will save money down the line; and while we save lives we will decrease the incidence of chronic diseases and save significant costs". He ended by saying, "People will live longer, more productive lives."

Preliminary results of a new scientific study show that chiropractic care significantly improves both standard physical assessments for health and self-assessment of quality of life. The study was conducted at the Sherman College Health Center in Spartanburg South Carolina, and was published in the August 6, 2007 issue of the scientific periodical, The Journal of Vertebral Subluxation Research.

In this study 10 volunteers were tested for a series of standard physical assessments prior to starting chiropractic care. These assessments include neck and lower back range of motion, spinal balance and postural analysis, as well as sensory testing, reflexes and muscle strength. The same tests were performed after 5.5 months of chiropractic care.

In addition to the physical assessments all participants were also asked to complete a "Health Related Quality of Life Survey" (HRQL). This standardized test asks participants to self rate areas of their life including their Physical State as well as their Mental and Emotional State. Additionally, participants using the HRQL survey also rate their Stress Evaluation, Life Enjoyment and their Overall Quality of Life. The questionnaires are then scored and analyzed and an overall "wellness" assessment is made. These tests were also conducted a second time after 5.5 months of chiropractic care.

The ten volunteers included one public utility worker, and one mayor of a local community, The remaining eight volunteers were full and/or part-time firefighters for various municipalities in South Carolina, with one also serving as a volunteer Emergency Medical Technician.

The results showed, that as a group, there was improvement in both the physical assessment and the self evaluation wellness assessment. The researchers reported that physical testing of the volunteers showed a "statistically significant reduction" in the specific tests performed. The physical test scores improved from a pre-test high of 16.0 down to an average of 9.5. The researchers also reported that there was a significant improvement in the subjects self-reported mental and emotional state, stress management, life enjoyment, and overall quality of life.

In their discussion, the researchers noted, "The present study has provided data which suggests that over as brief a time as an average of 5.5 months, consistent chiropractic care provides a predictable improvement of both physical findings and significantly enhanced self-perceptions of physical status, mental/emotional status and overall combined wellness, all important benefits for public safety personnel, as attested to through current literature." The researchers concluded that, "Even relatively short term chiropractic care has demonstrable benefits for volunteers serving in acknowledged areas of stressful public service."

On April 30, 2009 The Foundation for Chiropractic Progress, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to increasing public awareness of chiropractic, issued a release announcing that Retired U.S. Army Brigadier General Becky Halstead will serve as its spokesperson and share with the public her positive experiences with chiropractic care. Halstead served 27 years with the United States Army, and was the first female in U.S. history to command in combat at the strategic level. She is also a big supporter of chiropractic care.

She noted as she described her deployment. "The year I was deployed to Iraq I missed my friends and family -- and my chiropractor!" asserts Halstead. Presently chiropractic care is available through the U.S. armed forces healthcare delivery system at only approximately 25 percent of the military treatment facilities. "Personally, I hope someday that chiropractic care becomes part of all our military's healthcare programs, so that all soldiers can have the opportunity to benefit from the care that only a doctor of chiropractic can provide."

In the Foundation's release General Halstead commented, "I have always been grateful for the care of my chiropractor and feel it is an essential part of not only preventing more serious health concerns, but also assisting in the recovery from strains and other injuries," adds Halstead. The retired General continued by saying, "I have always been grateful for the care of my chiropractor and feel it is an essential part of not only preventing more serious health concerns, but also assisting in the recovery from strains and other injuries," adds Halstead. "My chiropractor is genuinely interested in me, my life and my health, and takes a holistic approach to my wellness."

Halstead, a 1981 West Point graduate summed up her remarks about chiropractic by saying, "(Chiropractic), allows me to be part of the solution and encourages me to be part of my own wellness plan. One of the greatest emotions in the world is relief, and that is exactly what my chiropractor provides mea tremendous amount of relief from my pain."

In the November 11th, 1998 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, (JAMA), David Eisenberg, M.D. published his long awaited follow up study on the use of "Alternative Medicine" in the United States. Several years earlier, Dr. Eisenberg published his initial study that rocked the medical community with his findings of how many people were actually going to what he termed "Alternative Providers".

From inside the medical profession, any other health care profession was known as an alternative. However, the numbers from the Eisenberg study quickly showed that chiropractic and other non-medical forms of health care are not "alternative" in the public's eye.

This new study, conducted in 1997, illustrated some astounding facts and figures.

  • Americans spent $27 billion out-of-pocket for alternative therapies in 1997.
  • Four out of 10 people used alternative healthcare in 1997.
  • Visits to alternative health care providers (mostly chiropractors) increased by almost 50% from 1990.
  • The number of visits to alternative health care providers (629 million) exceeded visits to medical providers (only 386 million) visits in 1997 alone.
  • Less than 40% of patients tell their medical doctors that they seek alternative therapies.

Researchers also found that 42% of the alternative care was for existing illness while 58% was used for prevention and wellness. These numbers look good for the chiropractic profession, which has built its health care delivery future on wellness. "Many people initially enter the chiropractor's office for a health problem. But many then stay there for the wellness benefits chiropractic has to offer", says Robert Braile, D.C. President of the International Chiropractor Association.

Study shows more people using "alternative" health care.

According to an article in the May 20 issue of The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), more people are turning toward what JAMA terms "Alternative Medicine". Traditionally, chiropractors do not use the term "Alternative Medicine" when referring to the profession of chiropractic, since chiropractic is a drugless natural approach to health. But it is interesting to note how the medical profession views chiropractic and other health approaches they term "alternative".

The article says, "Research both in the United States and abroad suggests that significant numbers of people are involved with various forms of alternative medicine. However, the reasons for such use are, at present, poorly understood. Along with being more educated and reporting poorer health status, the majority of alternative medicine users appear to be doing so not so much as a result of being dissatisfied with conventional medicine but largely because they find these health care alternatives to be more congruent with their own values, beliefs, and philosophical orientations toward health and life." According to John A. Astin, Ph.D., a researcher at Stanford University's School of Medicine in Palo Alto, California who surveyed 1,035 randomly selected people, "Alternative medicine users tend to hold a philosophical orientation toward health that can be described as holistic and are more likely to have had some type of transformational experience that changed their world view in a significant way.

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