Chronic Back Pain in America:
Survey Results

Effective Non-operative Chronic Back Pain Treatments

Survey participants reveal the most effective therapies

Hundreds of adult patients with chronic back pain took part in the Chronic Back Pain in America 2013 Survey. Chronic back pain can include pain in the neck (cervical spine), mid-back (thoracic spine), and/or low back (lumbar/sacral regions). Some patients reported pain at one or more regions of the spine. Here, we report the results of the most effective non-operative treatments.

Most Effective Non-surgical Treatments

Treatments Cervical
(n=360)
Thoracic
(n=248)
Lumbar/
Sacral
(n=719)
Bracing 13% 12% 14%
Physical Therapy 30% 20% 26%
Spinal Injections 30% 25% 30%
Acupuncture 19% 13% 10%
Transcutaneous Electrical Stimulation (TENS) 32% 28% 26%
Ice/heat 62% 62% 56%
Exercise 34% 29% 32%
Therapeutic Massage 49% 46% 41%

 

Over-the-counter Medications

OTC Medications Cervical
(n=360)
Thoracic
(n=248)
Lumbar/
Sacral
(n=719)
Effective 28% 26% 30%
Ineffective 44% 41% 40%

 

Most Effective Prescription Drugs

 Drug Types Cervical
(n=360)
Thoracic
(n=248)
Lumbar/
Sacral
(n=719)
Anti-inflammatory 35% 32% 35%
Neuropathic pain drug 25% 22% 22%
Muscle relaxant 48% 46% 37%
Anti-depressant 32% 31% 26%
Anti-anxiety drug 27% 30% 23%
Sleep medication 24% 24% 22%
Short-acting narcotic 50% 57% 47%
Long-acting narcotic 30% 38% 30%

 

Updated on: 03/05/14
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Who Prescribes Medication to Treat Chronic Back Pain?
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Who Prescribes Medication to Treat Chronic Back Pain?

"Who prescribes medication to treat chronic back pain?" was one of the questions in the Chronic Back Pain in America 2013 survey. Furthermore, several related questions about the prescribers' habits and patients' perceptions are revealed.
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