Extent Of Use And Types Of Pain Conditions For Which Complementary And Alternative Medicine (CAM) Are Used In The US

"For which pain conditions are CAM treatments most often used? In the 2007 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS), adults reported using CAM in the previous year most often to treat various musculoskeletal problems. Just over 17 percent of adults — more than 14 million Americans—used CAM for back pain/problems, almost 6 percent (5 million) for neck pain/problems, 5 percent for joint pain/stiffness (5 million), and 44 percent specifically for arthritis (3 million). An additional 1.5 million used CAM for other musculoskeletal problems, 1 million for severe headache or migraine, 11 million for 'regular headaches,' and 0.8 million for fibromyalgia (Barnes et al., 2008). Rates of reported use of CAM for these conditions had remained relatively unchanged since 2002. Even among children, NHIS data show that CAM therapies are used most often for back or neck pain (7 percent of all children).7"


Institute of Medicine, "Relieving Pain in America: A Blueprint for Transforming Prevention, Care, Education, and Research" (Washington, DC: National Academy of Sciences, 2011), p. 135.