An article published in Pain Medicine spoke about the observations made by the University of Michigan Health System Study which tracked ethnic and racial patterns of 5,700 people who used alternative medicine to treat chronic pain over a six year period.
Racial characteristics, economic and social characteristics, medical history and health factors and symptoms related to pain were also seen to be relevant aspects in the study:
- More white patients were seen to use alternative and complementary medicine than blacks
- Older people were likelier to use CAM therapies than younger patients. There are more than one reason for this; chronic aches and pains become more common as a person ages, and as the elderly suffer more from pain of a chronic nature, the more they turn to alternative therapies
- Alternative medicine therapies were seen to include acupuncture and chiropractic visits.
- Education and income levels were seen to impact CAM therapy use.
- The kind of health insurance purchased was also seen to impact CAM therapy use.
- The most common form of chronic pain is lower back pain; which an estimated 70 to 85% of adult Americans suffer from.