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Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 1995 Feb 1;20(3):312-7.

Care-seeking among individuals with chronic low back pain.

Author information

  • 1Department of Medicine, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, USA.

Abstract

STUDY DESIGN:

This was a stratified, random telephone survey of adults in North Carolina.

OBJECTIVE:

To determine the prevalence of chronic low back pain and the extent to which treatment is sought for this condition.

SUMMARY OF BACKGROUND DATA:

Chronic low back pain is a major problem. Previous studies often have combined acute and chronic back pain.

METHODS:

Telephone interviews regarding back pain were conducted with 4437 North Carolina adults during 1992.

RESULTS:

Chronic back pain affects 3.9% of the North Carolina population. Thirty-four percent considered themselves permanently disabled and 52% assessed their overall health as fair or poor. The median number of bed-disability days per year was three. Seventy-three percent saw a health care provider. Of those who sought care, 91% saw a medical doctor, 29% saw a physical therapist, and 25% saw a chiropractor. Use of technology was extensive: 37% received a computed tomography scan, 25% received a magnetic resonance imaging scan, and 10.4% underwent surgery.

CONCLUSIONS:

Chronic back pain is common, and the level of care-seeking and costs of care among those afflicted are extremely high.

PMID:
7732467
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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