The spine and adjacent tissues are pivotal in nearly all
major bodily movements. So when back or neck pain strike the
one-third of adults who suffer from one or both condition(s)
every year, the impact can be enormous. In fact, back pain
is the second most common reason people visit physicians in
the U.S., with neck pain close behind.
of the blossoming use of complementary and alternative therapies,
a study appearing recently in the journal Spine assessed
the prevalence of use of different forms of therapy for back
and neck pain. The national telephone survey of over 2,000
randomly selected Americans asked a series of questions on
whether or not each respondent suffered from any forms of
back or neck pain the previous year, and if so, what type
of treatment he or she sought.
Chiropractic was the most-used complementary therapy in this
study, with 20% of back or neck pain sufferers seeking chiropractic
care; Overall, complementary medicine was used far more than
conventional medicine (54% vs. 37%, respectively). Perhaps
more importantly, chiropractic was considered more helpful
than conventional medicine. Over 60% of sufferers considered
chiropractic "very helpful" for treating back and neck pain,
compared to 27% for conventional providers.
The authors of this study estimate that 628 million visits
were made to complementary therapy providers in 1997, a number
that increases every year, and that a third of these visits
were specifically for back or neck pain. A multitude of studies
have shown that chiropractic and other so-called alternative
therapies, such as massage, are highly effective for musculoskeletal
pain. Isn't it time you gave them a try?
Wolsko PM, Eisenberg DM, et al. Patterns and perceptions
of care for treatment of back and neck pain: Results of a
national survey. Spine 2003:28(3), pp. 292-298.
For more studies on back and neck pain, check out http://www.chiroweb.com/find/archives/musculoskeletal.