When it comes to understanding how Americans feel and think, there are few companies with a more recognizable name or reputation than Gallup, Inc. The research company is best known for conducting comprehensive public opinion polls to help organizations and the public understand how best to provide needed services. The company recently conducted a study of over 5,000 American adults to learn more about their experiences and preferences when it came to neck and back pain. These are their findings:
- Neck and back pain are so common in the United States that 62% of adults have sought medical care for its treatment. Roughly one in four Americans have sought treatment for neck or back pain in the last twelve months, with lower back pain accounting for the majority of those seeking treatment, neck pain accounting coming in second, and upper and middle back pain accounting for the rest of those seeking treatment.
- Eight out of ten patients who experience back or neck pain prefer to be treated by a professional like our cervical and lumbar spine specialty practice in New Jersey – they prefer a professional who specializes in the spine, rather than seeking care from a general practitioner. Two thirds of those seeking treatment specifically look for professionals who are able to provide them with prescriptions for medications and/or surgical treatment approaches.
- A vast majority of Americans (79%) prefer conservative approaches for their neck and back issues, and specifically approaches that do not involve the use of opioid or pain medications.
- Roughly one third of people who have sought help for back or neck pain have used physical therapists; one third have used massage therapists; almost two thirds have sought care from medical doctors. Much of the decision-making process about where to seek care relied upon what treatment was covered by an individual’s insurance provider.
- There are a variety of self-care techniques that patients use. These include: non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (73%); acetaminophen (50%); superficial heat (77%); yoga (72%); cold packs (60%); massage (53%); physical therapy (42%). More than one in five used prescription pain medication.
- Patients who received care from a physical therapist on more than one occasion reported a high level of satisfaction, with 88% saying their therapists listened; 86% saying their therapists demonstrated care/compassion; 86% saying their therapists provided quick access to care; and 83% saying their therapist explained things well.
- Patients who received care from a medical doctor/spine specialist were also highly satisfied with the care that they received.
One of the biggest takeaways from the Gallup poll is the fact that the American public is acutely aware of the problems involved with taking opioid pain medications, and have taken an active role in expressing a preference that alternative approaches be used in their treatment.
At our lumbar spine specialty practice in New Jersey, we believe in using a conservative approach to your pain. Contact us today to set up a time to come and see us and put yourself on the road to recovery and relief.