More Americans are putting their money where their backs are, so to speak. According to a new report by the National Institutes of Health's National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, complementary practitioners such as chiropractors have seen increased spending from patients in recent years.
"Substantial numbers of Americans spent billions of dollars out-of-pocket on these approaches, an indication that users believe enough in the value of these approaches to pay for them," said Richard L. Nahin, lead epidemiologist of NCCIH and lead author of the analysis in a news release.
The spending report used data from a special supplement to the 2012 National Health Interview Survey, which found that Americans spent 14.7 billion dollars out-of-pocket to visit complementary practitioners, including acupuncturists, massage therapists and chiropractors.
This spending reflects an increase in family income, according to the research, which led the authors to believe that these expenditures mean that Americans really believe in the value of chiropractic care as part of their overall health care plans.
"Doctors of chiropractic are consistently rated high in patient satisfaction surveys because people appreciate their patient-centered, conservative drug-free approach to health care," David Herd, the president of the American Chiropractic Association, said in a news release on the association's website.
The NCCIH/CDC analysis also found that while the number of U.S. adults using chiropractic services stayed at around 8.4 percent (or 19.4 million) between 2007 and 2012, there was an increase in the amount of children using them.
In 2012, 3.3 percent of children received chiropractic treatment, compared to 2.8 percent in 2007. Of all the complementary services for children, including yoga, meditation and massage therapy, chiropractic was the most common.
If you're experiencing back pain, schedule an appointment with a professional chiropractor today.