Low-back pain is the single leading cause of physical disability worldwide, according to the Global Burden of Disease Study 2013.
A Gallup-Palmer College of Chiropractic (Davenport, IA) study recently released about Americans’ perceptions of chiropractic found that nearly two-thirds of U.S. adults (65 percent) report having had neck or back pain significant enough that they saw a health care professional at some point in their lives, demonstrating a significant need for back-pain treatment in the U.S. The “Gallup-Palmer College of Chiropractic Annual Report: Americans’ Perceptions of Chiropractic,” comes from the second annual Gallup-Palmer survey of American attitudes about chiropractic care.
“Many Americans reported dealing with significant neck or back pain,” said Cynthia English, Gallup research consultant in charge of the study. “Among U.S. adults who sought professional care for neck or back pain, seven in 10 (71 percent) tell us they have been to a doctor of chiropractic.”
This year’s study also found that among the myriad of treatment options available for back and neck pain, perceptions among U.S. adults vary regarding the effectiveness and risks associated with each. U.S. adults are more likely to describe chiropractic care as “very safe” and “very effective” than to say this about pain medications or back surgery.
“Low-back pain and neck pain place a tremendous burden on our society,” said Christine Goertz, DC, PhD, vice chancellor for research and health policy at Palmer College of Chiropractic. “The opioid-overuse epidemic in the United States demonstrates that Americans need safe, effective, conservative health-care alternatives to prescription pain killers.”
The Gallup-Palmer report found that many Americans are choosing chiropractic, and a large majority of those who do describe the care as “very effective” and a good value for the money they pay.
Nearly 62 million U.S. adults (25 percent) went to a chiropractor in the last five years, with more than half (35.5 million) saying they went in the last 12 months. Adults who’ve seen a chiropractor in the last 12 months are generally very positive about their experience. About three in four of these adults (77 percent) describe the treatment they received as “very effective.” Eighty-eight percent of recent chiropractic patients agree the quality of care they received was a good value for the money.
Highlights of the study results are online.
Results of the Gallup-Palmer report are based on a Gallup Panel study of 7,645 national adults, aged 18 and older, conducted February 8 to March 11, 2016, via the Web and by mail. The maximum margin of sampling error for this study is ±1.8 percentage points, with a 95 percent confidence level.
For more information, visit www.palmer.edu/gallup-report.