CR Alternative health treatments that work

CR Alternative health treatments that work

Resource Type: Article


Done anything alternative lately? If so, you have a lot of company. When we surveyed 45,601 Consumer Reports subscribers online, we found that three out of four were using some form of alternative therapy for their general health. More than 38 million adults make in excess of 300 million visits to acupuncturists, chiropractors, massage therapists, and other complementary and alternative practitioners each year in the United States.

Despite the hoopla over alternative treatments, when we asked respondents how well the therapies they used worked for 12 common health problems, results showed that they were usually deemed far less helpful than prescription medicine for most of the conditions.

Even widely used dietary supplements ranked far below over-the-counter medications in many cases. But hands-on treatments such as chiropractic and deep-tissue massage, as well as the mind-body practice of yoga dominated the lists of helpful alternative treatments for discomfort from conditions such as back pain, neck pain, and osteoarthritis.


For 12 types of pain, only migraines had prescription meds as the most effective form of pain relief. Sad that I can’t find anything more recent. Makes me wonder about the investment in the science of alternatives to prescription pain relief. That said, definitely worth a read.