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Most of Us are Treated for Back Pain

According to a recent consumer report, about 80% of U.S. adults have struggled with back pain. In a survey conducted by the Consumer Reports Health Ratings Center, half of the participants said back pain limited their daily routine for a week or more -- interrupting sleep and efforts to maintain a healthy weight. About 88% of subscribers surveyed said it recurred throughout the year.

Why is Chiropractic Care Better?

Hands-on therapies are among the top-rated according to consumer reports, outranking other alternatives including surgery and regular pain medications. More than half of those who pursued chiropractic treatment said it helped dramatically and 59% were satisfied with their chiropractors.

Massage and physical therapy are among treatments rated very helpful by 48 and 46 percent of consumers.

Fewer Back Surgeries are Successful

Back surgeries are less successful than other operations. Only 60% of consumers surveyed were reportedly satisfied with back surgery results compared to 82% of patients satisfied with a hip or knee replacement. Those patients surveyed with degenerative disk disease (arthritis of the spine) were far less likely to be satisfied with surgery results than those with a herniated disk or spinal stenosis.

Pain Relievers are Not a Long Term Solution

Half of opiate users suffer from adverse effects. Opioid pain relievers also present a good amount of risks and challenges. There is very little medical research that supports the use of opioids for acute lower back pain. Clinical trials have shown that about half of patients who take them suffer from drowsiness, respiratory depression and gastrointestinal symptoms. Adverse effects of opioids also include an increase in the patient's pain sensitivity, loss of testosterone and challenges with intimacy.