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Consumer Reports Survey: Hands-On Therapies Among Top-Rated Treatments for Back Pain
Date:4/6/2009

Exercise is top self-help measure

YONKERS, N.Y., April 6 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Hands-on therapies are among the top-rated treatments for people suffering with back pain according to a new survey by the Consumer Reports Health Ratings Center. Fifty-eight percent rated chiropractic/spinal manipulation as helping a lot. And massage (48%) and physical therapy (46%) were close runners up. Consumers also rated their satisfaction with practitioners, telling Consumer Reports they were more likely to be "highly satisfied" with the back pain treatment received from their chiropractors (59%) than from their primary-care physicians (34%).

About 80 percent of U.S. adults have at some point been bothered by back pain. To compare which treatments helped most, Consumer Reports surveyed more than 14,000 subscribers who had lower-back pain in the past year but had never had back surgery. Consumer Reports asked its subscribers to rate a comprehensive list of potential remedies along with their satisfaction with the health-care professionals they visited. Most respondents had tried five or six different treatments on average. In a special online report at www.ConsumerReportsHealth.org, the Consumer Reports Health Ratings Center analyzes the medical evidence for each of 23 treatments side by side with consumers' experiences and provides recommendations and cautions. The site includes a free diagnostic tool for back pain.

Here are some survey highlights:

  • The percent of people highly satisfied with their back-pain treatments and advice varied by practitioner visited:

    Professional               Highly Satisfied

    Chiropractor               59%
    Physical therapist      
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SOURCE Consumer Reports
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