Summary by Utah Sports and Wellness

Link to Original Article:

  • Healthcare Journal, February 2020
  • Texas A&M University
  • This Study Cites 34 References
  • Data Collected Between September 2000-2018


Quick Summary:

This article goes over a study done with the intent to investigate the cost-effectiveness of Chiropractic versus Physical Therapy Care in the United States. For the investigation, databases were searched from 2000-2018 and included 21 total studies. Both men and women between the ages of 18 and 60 were studied, all of them having had low back pain for at least 6 months. 55% of the participants had Chiropractic care while 45% had Physical Therapy.


  • Low back pain is a pandemic and a costly musculoskeletal condition in the United States.
  • Many patients with low back pain will be put on expensive medications, receive different types of injections, have to make visits to the hospital or emergency room, and eventually may have to get surgery.
  • Most modalities for low back pain provide a temporary or “band-aid” solution to the problem and treat pain on the surface level, but unfortunately, these usually do not result in long term solutions.
  • Using Physical Therapy (PT) or Chiropractic (DC) in the earlier stages of low back pain may reduce the need for expensive health services and lower overall treatment costs. Chiropractic care and Physical Therapy are shown to be the superior non-pharmacologic strategies for treating low back pain when compared to other types of treatments.
  • Both methods are shown to have similar, or even better, results than non-pharmacologic modalities, with chiropractic being the lower cost of the two options. The overall number of visits needed for the Physical Therapy group was 20% higher than the Chiropractic group, making it the more cost-effective option of the two.
  • Low back pain is a chief cause of years lost to disability in the United States.