DCs Among Top Choices for Spine Care
Written by Editor   
Sunday, October 28, 2018 07:58 PM

According to the National Institutes of Health, back pain is one of the most common medical problems in the U.S. and can affect one’s ability to work, complete daily tasks and enjoy life.  The latest Gallup-Palmer College of Chiropractic annual reportManaging Neck and Back Pain in America, surveyed more than 5,000 U.S. adults and found that twenty-five percent of adults in the United States have neck or back pain significant enough that they saw a healthcare provider for care in the past 12 months.

Sufferers who saw healthcare professionals were most likely to seek care from a medical doctor (62%) or a chiropractor (53%). About a third visited a massage therapist or a physical therapist for their neck or back pain (34% for each).  Smaller percentages sought care from physician's assistants (26%), nurse practitioners (22%), surgeons who can operate on the spine (22%), doctors of osteopathic medicine (15%) or acupuncturists (9%).

Most patients with this kind of pain (81%) saw more than one type of healthcare provider for care in the past year, demonstrating a willingness to address their pain through different types of care.
Neck and back pain patients were asked about their experiences with the healthcare professional they saw most often for care. These experiences were evaluated across four key elements of care, including patient perceptions that their provider provided convenient and quick access to care, listened to them, demonstrated care and compassion, and explained things well.  Patients of chiropractors and physical therapists are more likely to report that their provider often did these four things than are patients of medical doctors. 
The vast majority of neck and back pain patients who saw a chiropractor in the past year say their chiropractor listened to them (93%), provided convenient and quick access to care (93%), demonstrated care and compassion (91%), and explained things well (88%). 
Many neck and back pain sufferers also used nondrug therapies that require a healthcare professional, such as massage (53%), spinal adjustment (47%) and physical therapy (42%), while smaller minorities received cortisone injections (18%) and acupuncture (9%).
The most popular nondrug remedies employed by adults who sought professional care for significant neck and back pain are superficial heat or heating pads (77%) and yoga, stretching or other exercises (72%) to alleviate pain. Six in 10 used ice or cold packs (60%) to address their pain.
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are the most common medication used by U.S. adults who sought care for significant neck or back pain in the past year. Nearly three in four (73%) took an NSAID, while half of such pain sufferers report having used acetaminophen (50%).
More than one in five neck and back pain patients took prescription pain medications in the past year. Opioids and benzodiazepines were used by 22% each, while a smaller percentage used Gabapentin or Neurontin (12%).
Many of these adults are using various methods to try to address their pain -- including seeing more than one type of healthcare provider.
An integrated approach to addressing spine pain — one in which different types of healthcare providers work together -- could be an asset to neck or back pain sufferers in America.

Source:  https://news.gallup.com/poll/243302/medical-doctors-chiropractors-top-choices-spine-care.aspx