Western States Chiropractic College,
Portland, Oregon 97230
Claimants in Oregon with disabling low back injuries attending chiropractors were found to have more treatments over a longer duration and at greater cost than claimants attending medical physicians with similar clinical presentations. These findings are attributed to:
a) a higher proportion of chiropractic claimants than medical physician claimants with low back risk factors which may have adversely affected the course of recovery (chronic or recurrent low back conditions, obesity, extremity symptomatology, frequency of exacerbations);
b) differences in age and gender of DC and MD claimants;
c) the greater physician-patient contact hours characteristic of chiropractic practice;
d) differences in therapeutic modalities employed; and e) the physician reimbursement permitted under Oregon workers’ compensation law. The findings of this study emphasize the need for prospective studies of treatment outcome.