Chronic Back Pain in America:
Survey Results

Who Prescribes Medication to Treat Chronic Back Pain?

Prescriber habits and patients' perceptions

"Who prescribes medication to treat chronic back pain?" was one of the questions in the Chronic Back Pain in America 2013 survey. In the tables below are survey participants' responses to who prescribes medications for neck, mid-back, and low back pain. Furthermore, several related questions about the prescribers' habits and patients' perceptions are revealed.


Type of Prescriber Cervical
(n=360)
Thoracic
(n=248)

Lumbar/
Sacral
(n=719)

Primary Care Physician 39% 42% 39%
Pain Medicine Specialist 32% 38% 30%
Rheumatologist 6% 4% 4%
Orthopaedic Surgeon 5% 3% 5%
Neurosurgeon 4% 3% 3%

 

Please note: the number of patients responding to the following questions varies.

Does your prescriber provide free samples? Cervical
(n=326)
Thoracic
(n=227)
Lumbar/
Sacral
(n=610)
Yes 19% 15% 15%
No 81% 85% 85%

Does your physician prescribe narcotics? Cervical
(n=326)
Thoracic
(n=227)
Lumbar/
Sacral
(n=610)
Yes 67% 71% 65%
No 33% 29% 35%

Did you sign a pain management treatment agreement? Cervical
(n=326)
Thoracic
(n=227)
Lumbar/
Sacral
(n=393)
Yes 43% 50% 59%
No 57% 50% 41%

Do you feel your physician trusts you with your narcotics? Cervical
(n=326)
Thoracic
(n=227)
Lumbar/
Sacral
(n=393)
Yes 94% 94% 95%
No 6% 6% 5%

Does your physician require uring drug testing? Cervical
(n=360)
Thoracic
(n=248)
Lumbar/
Sacral
(n=719)
Yes 33% 39% 33%
No 52% 49% 52%
Not sure 15% 12% 15%

 

Updated on: 03/05/14
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Spine Surgery Recommendations

Results from the Chronic Back Pain in America 2013 Survey indicated the types of spine specialists making surgical recommendations and whether the surgery was deemed necessary to revise a previous spinal procedure.
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