A recent study, “Perceived Benefit of Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) for Back Pain” (Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine, May – June 2010, Vol. 23 No.3), found the majority of respondents receiving CAM for back pain reported great benefit from the various treatments. Overall, 60 percent of those surveyed who had at least one CAM therapy in the last 12 months found remarkable relief using the top six CAM modalities; chiropractic care, massage, yoga/tai chi/qi Cong, acupuncture, herbal therapies, and relaxation techniques – with chiropractic care the most popular choice.

With back pain cited as the second leading reason for ambulatory visits in the U.S., the survey aimed to explore all promising CAM therapies – offering 17 possible choices. Chiropractic care was the favored approach at 74 percent, with massage a distant second at 22 percent of all CAM options – from hypnosis to naturopathy.

“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,” advises Gerard Clum, D.C., Foundation for Chiropractic Progress spokesperson and president of Life Chiropractic College West.

While survey results were remarkable, only 24 percent of respondents who received CAM stated that their conventional medical practitioner suggested the use of CAM for back pain. Others turned to CAM treatments because they felt…”conventional medicine would not help,” when dealing with severe back pain.

“Back pain sufferers should be made aware of all treatment options, especially alternatives that have been scientifically proven to provide relief,” says Dr. Clum. “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.”

Source: Foundation for Chiropractic Progress (F4CP)