Managing Neck and Back Pain in America
In the fourth installment of Gallup and Palmer’s annual report, we unveil new findings on Americans’ preferences for neck or back pain care, patient experiences with health-care providers and the prevalence of various methods for addressing this type of pain in the United States. Click the image to view a .pdf of the full report.
Among the key findings:
Americans are open to an all-of-the-above approach to address neck and back pain. Sixty-seven percent of Americans suffering from neck or back pain would want to see a professional who treats neck or back pain using a variety of methods including prescription medication or surgery. Still, 79% of U.S. adults would prefer to try to address their neck or back pain using methods other than prescription medication first.
Many neck or back pain patients use self-care techniques – non-drug therapies such as superficial heat (77%), yoga (72%) and cold packs (60%). However, many also use non-drug therapies that require a health-care professional for care, such as massage (53%), spinal adjustment (47%) and physical therapy (42%).
Americans’ reasons for visiting different practitioners vary. Among those who’d seen an M.D. most often for recent neck or back pain, the top reasons were insurance coverage (38%), trust (30%), habit (26%) and effectiveness (23%). For physical therapists, it’s safety (50%), insurance coverage (47%) and effectiveness (42%). For chiropractors, it’s safety (54%), trust (53%) and effectiveness (52%).
A majority of U.S. adults have positive views of chiropractors.
Other key findings include: