The C.A.M. Report
Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Fair, Balanced, and to the Point
  • About this web log

    This blog ran from 2006 to 2016 and was intended as an objective and dispassionate source of information on the latest CAM research. Since my background is in pharmacy and allopathic medicine, I view all CAM as advancing through the development pipeline to eventually become integrated into mainstream medical practice. Some will succeed while others fail. But all are treated fairly here.

  • About the author

    John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.

  • Common sense considerations

    The material on this weblog is for informational purposes. It is not medical advice or counsel. Be smart, consult your health professional before using CAM.

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    Most common medical conditions treated with CAM

    Here’s a follow-up to earlier posts here and here on the use of CAM in the US.

    The findings come from a survey by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM).

    Most common conditions treated by CAM among adults in 2007.

    • Back pain or problem: 17%
    • Neck pain or problem: 6%
    • Joint pain or stiffness, or other joint condition: 5%
    • Arthritis: 4%
    • Anxiety: 3%
    • Cholesterol: 2%
    • Head or chest cold: 2%
    • Other musculoskeletal conditions: 2%
    • Severe headache or migraine: 2%
    • Insomnia or trouble sleeping: 1%
    • Stress: 1%
    • Stomach or intestinal illness: 1%
    • Depression: 1%
    • Regular headaches: 1%
    • Hypertension: 1%
    • Fibromyalgia: 1%
    • Diabetes: 1%
    • Sprain or strain: 1%
    • Coronary heart disease: 1%

    Most common conditions treated by CAM among people younger than 18 year old in 2007.

    • Back or neck pain: 7%
    • Head or chest cold: 7%
    • Anxiety or stress: 5%
    • Other musculoskeletal: 4%
    • ADHD/ADD (attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder/attention deficit disorder): 3%
    • Insomnia or trouble sleeping: 2%
    • Asthma: 2%
    • Sinusitis: 2%
    • Other allergies: 1%
    • Respiratory allergy: 1%
    • Sore throat other than strep or tonsillitis: 1%
    • Depression: 1%
    • Abdominal pain: 1%

    The bottom line?
    Among adults, there was a small increase in CAM for treating cholesterol problems compared to 2002.

    The prevalence of CAM for back pain or problems, neck pain, joint pain or stiffness, and arthritis and fibromyalgia was unchanged since 2002.

    The was a marked decrease in the use of CAM for head or chest colds from 2002 to 2007 (10% to 2.0%). A smaller decrease in use was seen for stomach or intestinal illness.

    1/18/09 16:51 JR

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