Chiropractors in Switzerland treat patients with back, shoulder and hip pain not only more cheaply, but achieve greater patient satisfaction. This is the result of a study published at the beginning of September by the Swiss Chiropractors Association (ChiroSuisse). Patients that took their complaints to a Chiropractor first were able to save about 400 Francs (368 Euro) in treatment costs.
According to a study commissioned by the Techniker Krankenkasse in 2012, 40 percent of Germans suffer back pain often or constantly. The TK Health Report 2014 found that back complaints are, as previously, still the reason for almost 1 in 10 sickness days in Germany: 9.2 percent of all absenteeism amongst the TK-insured workforce in the previous year was due to back and spinal disc problems.
Our federal neighbours see a similar picture: Almost 50 percent of the Swiss population complain regularly of back pain. A third say the pain has a negative effect on their workplace productivity. Pain in the musculoskeletal system cause estimated costs of 14 billion Francs every year. The changing demographic means the number of chronic patients is also climbing.
Prevent chronic pain before it starts
Anne Rampacher, founder and head of the Chiropraktikzentrum Berlin, confirms this development: “Balance within the body is the greatest asset that allows us to feel good and avoid pain. In my practice I see many cases of dysfunction in the musculoskeletal system that can be solved quickly by targeted chiropractic treatment. The longer the treatment is put off, the greater the danger that the pain will become chronic.”
Chiropractors rectify dysfunctionalities of the musculoskeletal system such as back, shoulder or hip pain through simple, targeted impulses that contribute to the activation of self-healing processes. Mastering the technique requires multi-year academic training that can be acquired in countries such as the United Kingdom, the USA and Australia. Chiropractic can reduce pain, positively affect disorders in the entire musculoskeletal system as well as the extremeties and restore the function and surrounding structure of blocked joints. The core treatment objectives of chiropractic include pain reduction and the restoration and preservation of blocked joints and their surrounding structures, such as muscles and ligaments.
Politics and insurance must make efficient treatment possible
Not only the concept, but also the recognition through the German health system displays the problem. Despite their comprehensive training and degree, Chiropractors are recognised merely as “Heilpraktiker” (non-medical practitioner) in Germany – the same as “Chiropraktiker”, who were only required to pass a test as a “Heilpraktiker”.
“The study of our Swiss colleagues confirmed furthermore that chiropractic treatment is a valuable complement to academic medicine. Patients should be treated where the treatment is efficient. This can only be in the interests of the patients and the entire German health system” said Anne Rampacher. “It is astonishing that politics and health insurance didn’t start paying attention to chiropractic long ago. Especially given the cost savings for the health system, this should be urgently readdressed.”