This 1988 Utah workers' compensation board study found a tenfold savings for mean compensation costs in back-related injuries treated by chiropractors as compared with medical doctors ($68.38 vs. $668.39). To ensure accurate and true results, only those back-related injuries with the same diagnostic codes were compared between the two treatment groups. Also, the medical treatments assessed were limited to nonsurgical medical treatments only.
This large study - conducted by the State of Florida - examined 10,652 patients who sustained back-related injuries on the job. Their findings revealed individuals who received chiropractic care compared with standard medical care experienced had a (i) 51.3 percent shorter temporary total disability duration (ii) lower treatment cost by 58.8 percent (iii) 20.3 percent hospitalization rate in the chiropractic care group vs. 52.2 percent rate in the medical care group.
In this study, Richard Wolf, MD followed 500 individuals sent for chiropractic treatments and 500 individuals sent to medical doctors for treatment. Those who received chiropractic treatments returned to work in an average of 15.6 days vs. 32 days in those who received treatments from medical doctors.
This Oregon study found that individuals with workers' compensation claims returned to work significantly faster under chiropractic care compared with medical care. In fact, under chiropractic care 82% were able to return to work after one week compared with only 41% in those who received medical care.
A Study of Time Loss Back Claims. Portland, OR. Workers' Compensation Board, State of Oregon, March 1971.
In this Australian study, 1,996 workers' compensation cases were evaluated in patients who experienced work-related mechanical low back pain. It was found that those individuals who received chiropractic care for their back pain returned to work 4 times faster (6.26 days vs. 25.56 days) and had treatment that cost 4 times less ($392 vs. $1,569) than those who received treatments from medical doctors. Also, in those patients who received chiropractic care there was a significantly lower incidence of progression to a chronic low back pain status.
According to this Canadian government commissioned study, "...injured workers ... diagnosed with low-back pain returned to work much sooner when treated by chiropractors than by physicians."