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Recent study finds Americans paying more than ever for spinal care

September 14, 2012
Whether it's just plain anxiety or a long-standing muscle ache, back pain can seriously impair your quality of life and leave you feeling weak and vulnerable. From arnica ointment to other all-natural remedies, you may be quelling your discomfort in a variety of ways under the guidance of a healthcare provider, but you may still feel like less than your normal self.

But according to Science Daily, you're not alone. Researchers at the Dartmouth Institute in Lebanon, New Hampshire, found that more patients than ever are spending money on treatment plans for back and neck-related problems. At the same time, spending on primary care and physical therapy for spinal issues has decreased.

This trend, which has nearly doubled over the last 20 years, suggests that medical specialists are charging higher rates than ever before for services rendered. To conclude this, researchers examined spending patterns and hospital trips made by individuals in the U.S. between 1998 and 2008.

They found that approximately six percent of adults were transported via ambulance for a condition related to the spine. At the same time, spending for these visits and consultations with specialists increased by 95 percent, averaging about $950 per patient after adjusting for inflation. At the outset of the study period, the average cost per patient was about $487.

For average Americans, the costs of spinal care can be difficult to handle, yet the pain of living with an ongoing condition can often be grueling.

According to The Mayo Clinic, back pain can result from a number of different factors. Overexertion is a common reason why muscles or ligaments become strained, while dietary irregularities may be the cause behind osteoporosis, which can cause small fractures in your spine's vertebrae that lead to soreness or brittleness.

The source also notes that arthritis or ruptured disks may be the source of back pain. Before diagnosing yourself, consider consulting a healthcare provider about your condition. He or she may be able to recommend homeopathic kits that can help relieve your discomfort. 

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