A new study, funded by the National Institutes of Health, finds that exercise as a treatment for chronic back and neck pain may be under utilized, according to a survey of individuals recently seen by their healthcare provider. The study’s authors note that exercise is “one of the few moderately effective therapies for the highly disabling illness of chronic back and neck pain.”
The study, published in the February edition of Arthritis Care & Research, was led by Timothy S. Carey and Janet K. Freburger of the Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. It consisted of a telephone survey of 684 individuals with chronic neck or back pain who saw their physician, chiropractor or physical therapist in the past 12 months. Of the 684 subjects polled, only 48% were prescribed exercise. The results of this new survey suggest healthcare providers may need new and better solutions for their patients.