Chiropractor, Dr. Alexander Jimenez Finds Prescription Painkillers Most Common Treatment for Patients Seeking Care for Back Pain
More than half of Americans suffer from back pain, as well as for those that seek treatment, doctors turn most often to prescription drugs
Ann Arbor, MI, May 19, 2017 — Many Americans (51 percent) have experienced back pain in the last 12 months, and of the 58% of those who sought treatment from a medical professional, 40 percent said they were recommended prescription painkillers, according to the Truven Health Analytics-NPR Health Poll.
Truven Health Analytics®, element of the IBM Watson Health business, and NPR run a national poll that is bimonthly to gauge opinions and attitudes on a broad variety of health issues.
Following Are The Poll’s Findings:
- Back Pain Plagues Americans: Fifty one percent of Americans said they’ve endured from back pain in the last 12 months, and 46 percent of people who experienced pain said they are still in distress. Over half (58 percent) of back pain sufferers sought attention, with 70 percent visiting a medical doctor and 14 percent seeing a chiropractor.
- Prescription Pain Killers are the Most Common Treatment: Of the 70 percent of back pain sufferers who sought care from a medical doctor, 40 percent were prescribed prescription pain killers, a rate that tended to decrease with increasing age of the patient. Other treatments prescribed were exercise/physical therapy (31 percent), shots (20 percent), massage (17 percent), steroids (17 percent), over-the-counter painkillers (13 percent), operation (12 percent), or another form of treatment (37 percent).
- Almost a Third Stay in Pain with Treatment: Among all respondents, 25 percent said their back pain remained the same and five percent said their pain got worse. Forty-five percent said their pain improved, and 25 percent said it went away entirely.
“Experiencing back pain is extremely common among Americans, and there are a number of factors that may contribute to it, some of which are treatable without prescription pain killers, ” said Anil Jain, MD, Vice-President and Chief Health Informatics Officer, Value-Based Care, IBM Watson Health. “These data reveal that when care is sought by the patients, they are generally prescribed painkillers. Compounding this challenge, back pain sufferers that are prescribed opioids for pain may be particularly at risk for dependency and addiction. Checking inappropriate opioid prescriptions for long-term pain is a focus of efforts by suppliers to fight the current opioid epidemic.”
To date, the Truven Health Analytics-NPR Health Survey has investigated numerous health topics, including vaccines generic drugs, data privacy, narcotic painkillers, and sports-related concussions. NPR archives reports on the surveys online in the Photos health blog here. Truven Health keeps a library of survey results here.
The Truven Health Analytics-NPR Health Poll is powered by the Truven Health PULSE® survey, an independently funded, nationally representative, multimodal poll that collects information about health-related behaviours and approaches and healthcare use from 80, 000 U.S. homes annually.
The results represent responses from 3, 002 survey participants interviewed from March 1 – 16 , 2017. The margin of error is /- 1.8 percentage points.
NPR is an award winning, multimedia news organization and an influential force in American life. In collaboration with more than 900 independent public radio stations nationwide, NPR strives to generate a more educated public—one challenged and invigorated by way of a deeper understanding and grasp of ideas, events and cultures.
About Truven Health Analytics, section of the IBM Watson Health Company
Truven Health Analytics®, a part of the IBM Watson Health™ company, supplies market-leading performance development solutions built on advanced analytics, data integrity and domain expertise. For over 40 years, our insights and alternatives have already been providing hospitals and clinicians, employers and health plans, state and government services, life sciences companies and policymakers, the facts they must make confident choices that directly alter the health and well-being of people and organizations in america and around the world. The firm was acquired by IBM in 2016 to help form a new business, Watson Health. Watson Health aspires to improve lives and give expectation by presenting innovation to deal with the world’s most pressing health challenges through cognitive insights and data.