HealthDay News — Use of complementary health approaches is significantly higher for United States (US) adults with musculoskeletal pain disorders, according to a report published online on October12 in the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Health Statistics Reports.1

Tainya C Clarke, MPH, PhD, from the National Center for Health Statistics in Hyattsville, MD, and colleagues used data from the 2012 National Health Interview Survey to examine the use of complementary health approaches among US adults with musculoskeletal pain disorders.

The researchers found that 54.5% of US adults had a musculoskeletal pain disorder in 2012. The use of any complementary health approach for any reasons was significantly higher for those with vs those without a musculoskeletal pain disorder (41.6 vs 24.1%). 

Use of natural products was significantly higher than use of mind and body approaches, practitioner-based approaches, or whole medical system approaches (24.7 vs 15.3, 18.2, and 5.3%, respectively) among adults with any musculoskeletal pain disorder. 

Although this pattern was similar for those without musculoskeletal disorders, the prevalence was significantly lower for those without vs those with a musculoskeletal disorder. The use of practitioner-based approaches for treatment was more than 3 times as high as the use of any other group of approaches (9.7 vs 0.7 to 3.1%) for those with musculoskeletal disorders.

“This report adds to evidence regarding the use of complementary approaches to treat or manage pain in the US population,” the authors write.

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  1. Clarke TC. Use of complementary health approaches for musculoskeletal pain disorders among adults: United States, 2012. Available at: Accessed October 18, 2016.