SOURCE: Global Advances in Health and Medicine LLC

Global Advances in Health and Medicine LLC

January 21, 2016 07:45 ET

New Study Describes the Positive Effects of Complementary and Alternative Medicine for Low Back Pain

More Than Half of Low Back Pain Sufferers Who Used CAM for Their Back Pain Perceived a Great Deal of Benefit, Said the Study in the January 2016 Issue of Global Advances in Health and Medicine

BOSTON, MA--(Marketwired - January 21, 2016) - An article published in the January 2016 issue of Global Advances in Health and Medicine describes the positive effects of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) in adults with low back pain (LBP).

In the study by researchers at the University of Minneapolis, Minnesota, the authors analyzed data from the 2012 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS), a cross-sectional nationally representative household interview survey of the health and healthcare of the US population.

In 2012, the survey included an Alternative Health Supplement, which collected information on the use of CAM modalities and reasons for and benefits of CAM use. Data was collected for 34,525 adults, and the US LBP population was identified according to respondents' answer to the questions of whether they had low back pain during the past 3 months that lasted a whole day or more and whether the back pain caused functional limitations.

In analyzing the data, the authors of the current study found that overall, 41.2% of the US LBP population reported CAM use for any reason in the past year. The individual CAM therapies that adults with LBP used most commonly included herbal therapies, chiropractic manipulation, massage, and yoga/tai chi/qigong. Adults with limiting back pain favored chiropractic manipulation, acupuncture, and herbal therapies. Further, of those with LBP who used any CAM to treat their pain, 58.1% perceived CAM to have a "great" benefit, and more than half of LBP patients who used acupuncture (68.2%), chiropractic manipulation (62.6%), massage (55.9%) or yoga/qigong/tai chi (53%) also believed using those modalities resulted in a great benefit to their pain.

The findings were especially meaningful given the significance of LBP in the United States, where it accounts for approximately $100 billion a year in costs related to healthcare utilization. LBP also is the cause of more than 150 million lost workdays and $16 billion in lost productivity per year, according to sources cited in the article.

For details about this study, access to other articles from the January issue, and an audio overview of the issue by co­-Editor-in-Chief Mary Jo Kreitzer, PhD, RN, FAAN, visit

About Global Advances in Health and Medicine

Global Advances in Health and Medicine (GAHMJ) is a global multimedia communication forum that combines original research with breakthrough thinking and analysis of policy initiatives to catalyze global conversations, collaboration, and the building of communities to advance whole-person and whole-systems approaches to care and healing. GAHMJ's platform includes an online and printed peer-reviewed, indexed, medical journal published 6 times per year with abstracts in 3 languages and an interactive website that reaches readers in more than 40 countries.

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