Start Back Questionnaire for Low Back Pain
Odds are that we will all suffer some debilitating lower back pain at some point in our life. Chiropractic care can help us get back into full activity, and reduce our pain. Some chiropractic patients do not respond to traditional treatment protocols and they need to be referred out for other procedures. Sadly, there are some people who simply fail to get better no matter what is done to help them. The million-dollar question is: How can we identify those people at the onset of treatment?
Well we can’t accurately predict who will respond to care and who will fail. But a tool has been circulating the academic circles and has started to find it’s way into the practitioners hands. That tool is called the STarT Back Tool. The tool is a short questionnaire which can help categorize patients into risk tiers. Those with the highest degree of risk, can be treated a bit more aggressively (and more expensively in the short term). While those patients with fairly low risk can be treated more modestly.
The modest and conservative treatment protocols end up saving a lot of money in the long run. The rationale is sound, especially in a time of medical expense austerity.
Chiropractic patients already enjoy a huge savings when it comes to taking care of their lower back pain. The average cost of a non-complicated lower back injury treated by a chiropractor is a fraction of what the same injury cost would be if treated by a medical doctor. As a bonus, the risk of drug dependency in the chiropractic group is non-existent since chiropractors do not prescribe medications.
As physicians, both medical and chiropractic, we are sensitive to the amount of paperwork our patients need to fill out on their first visit. But don’t be surprised if this paperwork gets slipped the pile.
Dr. Andrew White
St George Chiropractor who actually reads new research articles.