A study published in the June 2010 issue of The Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine, showed that people who used what the study called “Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM)” received a “great deal” of benefit. Chiropractic was included in what this medical study defined as CAM care.
The study received attention in a number of news stories including an article in the July 4, 2010 Medical News Today, and in a June 30, 2010 Business Wire release by the Foundation for Chiropractic Progress. The study surveyed people who had suffered from back pain and had used at least one CAM therapy in the last 12 months. Of these participants the results showed that over 60% found remarkable relief using the top six CAM treatments. Those treatments were chiropractic care, massage, yoga/tai chi/qi Cong, acupuncture, herbal therapies, and relaxation techniques – with chiropractic care being the most popular choice.
The Medical News Today story reported that back pain is the second leading reason people walk into a doctor’s office in the U.S. The survey looked at a total of 17 CAM therapies choices. Of those, Chiropractic care was the most popular approach at 74 percent, with massage a distant second at 22 percent.
Dr. Gerard Clum, Foundation for Chiropractic Progress spokesperson and president of Life Chiropractic College West noted, “What we are seeing with these studies is compelling evidence that there is a light at the end of the tunnel for back pain sufferers more and more, that light is chiropractic care and other CAM approaches.”
One of the interesting findings of the study was that an overwhelming number of the people in the survey did not go to a CAM practitioner because of a referral from a medical doctor. In fact only 24 percent of respondents with back pain who received CAM stated that care came at the suggestion of their conventional medical practitioner.
In their study conclusion, the authors of the study stated, “CAM is used by 40% to 60% of the population yearly, and back pain is the most common medical condition for which people use CAM. Using a nationally representative survey, our analyses documented that the majority of respondents who used CAM for back pain perceived great benefit and identified specific factors associated with perceived benefit.”
In the Foundation for Chiropractic Progress release on the study Dr. Clum summed up the study by stating, “Back pain sufferers should be made aware of all treatment options, especially alternatives that have been scientifically proven to provide relief. While chiropractic care has in the past been considered alternative there is now a case to be made for making it the first choice for patients and in the process making interventions like injections and surgery the alternative approach.”