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CAM: Why do patients visit chiropractors, acupuncturists, or massage therapists?

This large study describes 7 years of data from insured adults receiving chiropractic, acupuncture, and massage therapy in a fee-for-service CAM center within an IHDS [integrated health care delivery system].”

The reasons that Kaiser Permanente patients made appointments for a first visit to complementary and alternative medicine providers were studied for the period 2007 to 2014.  Two-thirds of the over 27,000 patients studied made appointments to see chiropractors, the remaining appointments were roughly evenly split between acupuncturists and massage therapists.  Here are the results for the number one most frequent complaint for patients making that first CAM appointment:

  • 82 percent of visits to chiropractors were for pain in the spine or trunk
  • 58 percent of visits to massage therapists were for pain in the spine or trunk
  • 39 percent of visits to acupuncturists were for pain in the spine or trunk

This study was conducted at the Centers for Complementary Medicine, which is part of KP Colorado.

Source: McCubbin, T., Kempe, K.L., and Beck, A. (2017, Summer). Complementary and alternative medicine in an integrated health care delivery system: Users of chiropractic, acupuncture, and massage services. The Permanente Journal. 21. Click here: http://www.thepermanentejournal.org/files/2017/16-172.pdf  Posted by AHA Resource Center (312) 422-2050, rc@aha.org

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