When it comes to making important choices about treatment options for back pain, it's worth looking at the experiences of others who have found something that works. In recent years, the Consumer Reports Health Ratings Center has surveyed the magazine's subscribers to do just that. In April and May 2009, Consumer Reports released some of its findings publicly. A summary appears below.
About the Survey Participants
- More than 14,000 participants who had suffered from lower-back pain in the prior year but had never had back surgery.
- More than half reported that pain severely limited their daily routine for a week or longer.
- Many reported that pain interfered with sleep, sex and efforts to maintain a healthy weight.
- 88% reported that the pain recurred through the year.
- Most had tried five or six different treatments.
How Respondents Ranked the Healthcare Providers Who Had Treated Them
|Healthcare Provider||Percent Who Were Highly Satisfied With Treatment and Advice*|
|Physician, Primary Care||34%|
*Defined as either Completely Satisfied or Very Satisfied.
+Difference in ranking for Physical Therapist and Acupuncturist were not statistically significant.
How Respondents Ranked Selected Back Pain Therapies
|Therapy||Percentage Who Reported that the Therapy Helped a Lot|
In July 2011, Consumer Reports published an updated report describing how Americans use alternative approaches to healthcare as well as their experience with various therapies and their providers. Chiropractic care once again was reported to be the most popular approach to back pain relief and was ranked most highly in terms of patient satisfaction.
Your Doctor of Chiropractic can help relieve back pain and restore mobility by using a drug-free, hands-on technique called "spinal manipulation" or "chiropractic adjustment". He or she may also use other manual therapies, such as massage, to complement this primary treatment. In addition, many chiropractors are skilled in designing exercise and nutrition programs for their patients that will help their bodies resist injury and function properly. By focusing on both immediate pain relief and the underlying causes of back pain, your chiropractor can help you achieve a healthier overall lifestyle.