The Role of Insurance Coverage in the West Des Moines Back Surgery or Non-Surgical Care Choice

“Back surgery is one of the most overused types of surgery as well as the most common ailment that sends patients to doctors, chiropractors, and physical therapists,” conveys Crain’s Detroit Business magazine’s article called Health Insurers Look for Ways to Cut Costs with Back Surgery. What a way to begin an article! It continues:

  • $90 billion on low back pain alone a year
  • 1.2 million spinal surgeries annually
  • $60,000 to $110,000 per lumbar fusion surgery (the fastest-growing type of surgery in the past 10 years)

The back surgery failure rate, the so-called “failed back syndrome” or the more “politically correct” term “post-surgical continued pain syndrome,” is as high as 50%. (1) With healthcare spending in the US exceeding $3.5 trillion - $10,739 per person – it is no wonder that insurers seek another way to cut costs, particularly when one-third of the money is spent for hospital care of chronic illnesses. (2) Executive Chiropractic of Iowa is well-trained and knowledgeable in offering non-hospital-based care to help West Des Moines back pain – chronic and acute – patients get relief of and manage their back pain – and post-surgical continued back pain - non-surgically.


Low back pain is the leading cause of years lived with disability globally. Today, guidelines for low back pain relief care discourage pain medications, steroid injections and spine surgery and encourage physical therapy and psychological therapy. Healthcare systems are apt to struggle with these novel approaches. Why? Pharmaceutical companies’ financial interests, old payment systems that favor medical care, outdated traditions, and legal, personal, political, and societal beliefs of us all. These views are presented in the Bulletin of the World Health Organization, believe it or not. (3) Executive Chiropractic of Iowa reads this with interest.


In light of these facts, it’s not hard to believe that some back pain sufferers will decide on back surgery over non-surgical management of their back pain. “Patients go where insurance pays, even if it is surgery.” In one study, back pain sufferers made the choice to see a primary care physician (PCP) or physical therapist (PT) or chiropractor first based on their health plan type, co-payment, and deductible. Changing these things to make them more valuable/less expensive/less restrictive as to provider type might well encourage low back pain sufferers to choose non-hospital, conservative treatment instead of back surgery. (4) Executive Chiropractic of Iowa is all for this! Less than 1% of back pain sufferers must have back surgery. (5) Executive Chiropractic of Iowa is prepared to help the remaining 99% of the West Des Moines back pain sufferers manage their back pain and adapt their lifestyles to live with the spine they have and cope with its episodes of pain and relief.


West Des Moines back pain sufferers are in good company if their back pain comes back. It happens. It is controllable. It is manageable. Some data first: Within a year of recovery, 69% of patients experienced another episode of back pain of some sort. Awkward postures, long sitting times, and more than 2 prior back pain experiences trigger the risk of back pain recurrence. (6) It is ok though. Really! Executive Chiropractic of Iowa helps West Des Moines back pain patients navigate these recurrences and deal with them so they do not limit anyone’s enjoyment of life.  We have a treatment plan!

CONTACT Executive Chiropractic of Iowa

Listen to Dr. Kimble Cater on The Back Doctors Podcast with Dr. Michael Johnson share how he helped an expectant mother with her repeated episodes of back pain. Whether you’re pregnant or not, West Des Moines chiropractic care at Executive Chiropractic of Iowa can help you cope with repeated episodes of back pain, too.

Schedule a West Des Moines chiropractic appointment at Executive Chiropractic of Iowa for back pain relief. Our care is not overused!  The gentle, effective, evidence-based system of Cox® Technic seeks 50% relief within 4-6 weeks of care and often gets 70%, 80%, 90% and greater for many of our patients at less cost – in terms of finances and lifestyle – than back surgery.

Executive Chiropractic of Iowa notes that back pain sufferers may choose their back pain treatment option based on insurance coverage. If insurance pays for back surgery, will you choose that?  
« View All Featured Articles
"This information and website content is not intended to diagnose, guarantee results, or recommend specific treatment or activity. It is designed to educate and inform only. Please consult your physician for a thorough examination leading to a diagnosis and well-planned treatment strategy. See more details on the DISCLAIMER page. Content is reviewed by Dr. James M. Cox I."