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During National Wise Health Consumer Month: Consumers Seek Cost-Effective Health Care

EDINA, Minn., Feb. 9 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- With the rising cost of health care, more and more consumers are looking toward prevention, high quality and cost-effective care. During National Wise Health Consumer Month, the Minnesota Chiropractic Association (MCA) encourages the public to take another look at chiropractic care.

February is National Wise Health Consumer Month and is an excellent time for Minnesotans to learn about chiropractic care and how it increases overall health, explained Debra Hurston, MCA Executive Director. The Minnesota Chiropractic Association (MCA) encourages all Minnesotans to make the connection that chiropractic care increases overall health and is cost-effective.

The perception of chiropractic care may be limited to back and neck injuries, but chiropractors look at the whole patient and advise the best ways to stay in peak health. Chiropractors focus on prevention and advise on a number of health areas, including nutritional issues, and treat overall patient health. A 2007 study conducted by the Integrative Medicine Independent Physician Association showed that, over a seven-year period, patients seeking alternative care realized:

  • 60.2% decreases in hospital admissions
  • 59% decreases in hospital stays
  • 62% decreases in outpatient surgeries and procedures
  • 85% decreases in pharmaceutical costs

The result is an overall reduction in healthcare costs.

Chiropractic treatment is safe and effective, and is the largest, most regulated, and best recognized of the complementary and alternative medicine professions. To locate an MCA Doctor of Chiropractic in your area, visit

Employer promotes wellness with Chiropractic care

Doug Adamek is a successful business owner, and never gave much credence to the chiropractic profession. When he learned his daughter was working toward a career in chiropractic care, he gradually changed his opinion. Now he is such a proponent of chiropractic care that he regularly brings a chiropractor to his office to treat his employees.

"Initially I was extremely skeptical of chiropractic care," said Adamek. "Ten years ago my daughter told me she was going into it, and I thought, 'They're just a bunch of quacks.'" Over time his view changed, and he now recognizes the total health benefits of seeing a chiropractor.

"Chiropractic care does respond to total well-being very well," said Adamek. "Adjustments are a small part of what the chiropractor brings for overall care."

Adamek has been so responsive to chiropractic care that at 61 he finished his first marathon, and since then has competed in seven more. From his chiropractor he gets advice on diet, training, and a variety of nutritional supplements.

"Overall, it's total health," said Adamek. "It's responding to the whole person."

One of the aspects of chiropractic care that Adamek enjoys is the time the chiropractor spends with his or her patients, trying to figure out the root of the patient's health problems.

"The first thing a medical doctor does is prescribe medicine or plan surgery," said Adamek. "The medical doctor only has 5 to 7 minutes to spend with each patient, so they have to do something fast. A chiropractor spends time to get to know you, rather than go for the quick fix."

He observed that they try to serve the patient's nutritional, physical, and spiritual needs. "It's a much more balanced, less invasive treatment," adds Adamek. Adamek does not totally dismiss conventional medicine. He believes it can work hand-in-hand with chiropractic care. "I think there's certainly a balance between western medicine and what chiropractic care brings," said Adamek. "There is a balance."

Adamek is a business owner and does something unusual -- he brings a chiropractor to his office to treat his employees. Given the state of the economy and high health insurance deductibles, it's a way to promote employee wellness.

"I'd like to encourage employers to bring astute, well-trained chiropractors on-site," said Adamek. "It's not just for workplace safety, but it shows your employees that you care. It boosts morale."


Christine Passolt (40) is a stay-at-home-mother of four children -- twin eight-year-olds, a six-year-old, and a two-year-old. She had surgery to correct scoliosis when she was a child, but as an adult, arm and leg problems that could not be diagnosed by medical doctors led her to chiropractic care. The result: She has benefited from whole-body health.

When she was a young girl, Christine Passolt suffered from scoliosis. Medical doctors told her that the answer was surgery. As a result, the junior high-aged girl had surgery, and went on to lead a normal life. However, some back issues persisted, and she managed to "just live with them."

Years later, her health took a turn for the worse. "A year and a half ago I started experiencing numbness in my arms and legs," said Passolt. "The medical doctors couldn't figure out what was wrong." She went through numerous tests -- including a brain scan -- to try and find the source of the problem.

After the exams and tests, the doctors were still stymied. A visit to a doctor of chiropractic solved her problems. "He did what I always wanted my medical doctors to do -- we sat down and talked about my problems. Here was a doctor who was finally listening to me, not just ordering expensive tests," said Passolt. "He gave me his thoughts and we worked on a plan that included adjustments and exercises I could do on my own. I made huge improvements."

After taking care of the numbness in her arms and legs, Passolt's doctor started working on her overall back issues. Some of those problems involved residual pain that she had lived with since her back surgery years earlier. "I accepted that it is what it is," said Passolt. "He was able to work his magic, and it all went away."

In addition to fixing her back problems, Passolt was also able to address her overall health; including realizing the importance of a multivitamin and things she can do to improve her health. She also recognizes the cost-effectiveness of chiropractic care.

Rather than respond to problems after they start -- and having to pay to fix those problems -- preventative care with a chiropractor not only keeps one in good health, but also lessens the amount that needs to be spent to correct health problems.

For Passolt, the whole-health care approach of chiropractic care just makes sense.

"It makes sense to treat your whole body, not just one part of it," observed Passolt.


Here are some interesting facts about this non-invasive, drug-free approach to economic health care.

  • A study, published by the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, has shown chiropractic to be more cost-effective than medical treatment when it comes to chronic low back pain.
  • Chiropractic is the largest, most regulated, and best recognized of the complementary and alternative medicine professions. -- American Chiropractic Association
  • Chiropractic does not utilize drugs or surgery.
  • A doctor of chiropractic requires a minimum of six years of college and clinic internship before receiving a license, and must pass national and state examinations.
  • Chiropractic treatment is a covered benefit in many traditional insurance policies. According to some reports, as many as 87 percent of all insured American workers have coverage for chiropractic services in their health care plans. -- American Chiropractic Association
  • A major four-year study in the United States, published in the American Medical Association journal The Archives of Internal Medicine, concluded that medical benefit plan members with chiropractic coverage returned to work faster, had lower claim costs and experienced fewer interventions such as MRIs compared to plan members without chiropractic benefits.
  • The federal government provides chiropractic benefits for veterans, military personnel and Medicare patients. -- American Chiropractic Association
  • A pilot study, published in the Journal of Vertebral Subluxation Research, suggests that chiropractic care may help adults suffering from concentration problems and attention deficit disorder (ADD).
  • A Chicago-area study of 50 individuals with misaligned Atlas vertebrae (located high in the neck) documents reduced blood pressure following one specialized chiropractic "adjustment" and continued results after eight weeks. The Foundation for Chiropractic Progress points out that these results are equal to taking two blood-pressure drugs simultaneously.

SOURCE Minnesota Chiropractic Association
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