More than 20 percent of adults in the United States suffer from chronic pain. Further, research has shown that chronic pain disproportionally affects low-income adults, women and adults over 65 years old. As chronic pain may affect one’s biological, psychological, social and economic state of being, its impact is widespread throughout entire communities.
The Saint Louis Regional Health Commission (RHC) is fighting back against this public health epidemic, and Logan clinicians have aided their efforts. “Addressing Chronic Pain: Integrating Physical Function Services into Community Health Centers” provides a blueprint for community health centers to implement physical function services. These services include treatment therapies such as chiropractic care, occupational therapy and physical therapy that improve healthy moving and functioning and are effective in the management of chronic pain.
“At Logan, one of our main goals is to promote interdisciplinary collaboration in addressing chronic pain as a public health epidemic,” said Director of Health Policy and Interdisciplinary Care Patrick Battaglia, DC (’12), DACBR. “We know the importance of providing evidence-based, non-pharmacological treatments for chronic musculoskeletal pain, and we felt the intentional inclusion of all disciplines by the RHC in their chronic pain initiative was the perfect way to do that.”
The white paper states: “Integrating physical function services into community health centers may reduce social and financial barriers for patients, as well as decrease the burden placed on the primary care provider. Providing access to physical function experts will allow for more substantial upstream efforts in treating chronic pain and increases equitable access to effective treatment therapies.”
Adjunct faculty Ross Mattox, DC (’07), RMSK™, was instrumental in early conversations with the RHC regarding chiropractic integration, and Logan Integrated Health Care Resident Jevinne Khan, DC (’20) led the white paper construction as part of a summer rotation with the RHC.
“I really hope the white paper conveys the impact chronic pain can have on underserved communities and the feasibility of integrating physical function services into community health centers,” said Dr. Khan. “Our goal is for health centers around the country to be able to implement this and serve patients for decades to come.”
This project wouldn’t have been possible without the partnerships Logan has formed in the St. Louis region for more than 85 years.
“The inclusion of chiropractic care in the package benefit was an acknowledgement of the demand for services we provide and a testament to the work Logan has done locally in the community health center environment over the years,” Dr. Battaglia said. “If we did not have this unwavering track record of success and commitment to high-quality care, I’m not sure we would have been able to take this huge step forward in providing chiropractic care to a larger population.”