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Chiropractors top satisfaction survey

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

One of the biggest annual American surveys of its kind has found that users of chiropractic were highly satisfied with the outcomes of their care unlike many other forms of complementary and alternative therapy.

The annual questionnaire conducted by the US Consumer Reports National Research Center surveyed 45,601 Consumer Reports subscribers online, and found that three out of four were using some form of alternative or complementary therapy for their general health. Chiropractic dominated the lists of helpful approaches for particular conditions whereas other alternative treatments used for 12 common health problems were usually deemed far less helpful than prescription medicine.

According to Dr Hayden Thomas, chiropractor and spokesperson for the New Zealand Chiropractors' Association: 'Hands-on care such as chiropractic along with the mind-body practice of yoga topped the lists of helpful alternatives for discomfort from conditions such as back pain, neck pain, and osteoarthritis.'

Chiropractic outperformed all other back pain treatments. Around six in 10 of those who used chiropractic or deep-tissue massage said it helped a lot as a neck treatment. Those who tried chiropractic or deep-breathing exercises for fibromyalgia said they helped as much as or more than over-the-counter medications.

The survey indicated that some widely used dietary supplements ranked far below over-the-counter medications in many cases.

Respondents said their doctors were generally aware of their use of complementary approaches for their medical conditions. For instance, 81 percent of those who sought chiropractic care said their doctors knew about it and 21 percent who used chiropractic said their doctors had recommended it. One in four respondents undergoing chiropractic care for any condition said their chiropractor was more interested and insightful than their medical doctors.

`There appear to be a number of reasons people look at alternative therapies, says Dr Thomas; They may have gone through a major life event or illness that has caused them to look at their health in a different way, some are frustrated with conventional approaches or the side effects of drugs, and others prefer dietary supplements or herbal remedies to medicines because they're natural, even though it's not necessarily the case that they are safer or have less side effects than conventional medications.'

'Whatever health care approach people choose, there are potential risks along with the possible benefits, and practitioners of all kinds are encouraged to work together for the good of the patient' adds Dr Thomas.

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