Chiropractic and Exercise The Best Treatment For Neck Pain

Neck pain afflicts at least three quarters of people at some point in their lives, but there’s been little research on what treatments are the most helpful. Many take over-the-counter medications or visit doctors and chiropractors in search of relief. Sedentary office workers tend to be most susceptible to the condition.

Good News For Patients With Neck Pain!

When it comes to neck pain the best medicine is no medicine at all!

Now a new study published on January 3, 2012 in The Annals of Internal Medicine has a surprising answer demonstrating the power of alternative therapies for neck pain: Chiropractic care and simple neck exercises done daily at home were much better at reducing pain than taking pain medications like aspirin, ibuprofen or even strong narcotics. It’s good news for patients that there’s something they can do themselves to take a more active role in their care — such as doing the exercises or visiting a chiropractor — instead of just swallowing a pill.

Study found stretching exercises and a visit to the chiropractor were better at relieving neck pain than medication

And the relief provided by either exercise or spinal manipulation by a chiropractor was long-lasting — even up to a year later, when researchers checked back in with the study’s participants.

Spinal Manipulation, Medication, or Home Exercise With Advice for Acute and Subacute Neck Pain Full Text (PDF) FREE

The study, funded by the National Institutes of Health, involved 272 adults, aged 18 to 65 years, who had had neck pain lasting for 2 to 12 weeks. The participants were then split into three groups and followed for about three months using three different methods:

  1. Medication
  2. Exercise
  3. A Chiropractor

One group visited a chiropractor for 20-minute sessions throughout the study, for an average of 15 visits total. A second group was assigned to take common pain relievers like ibuprofen or, with a doctor’s guidance, stronger drugs like narcotics and muscle relaxants.

A third group met twice with physical therapists who taught them how to do simple, gentle exercises to stretch neck muscles at home. Each exercise called for 5 to 10 repetitions done up to eight times a day.

The researchers measured the subjects’ pain throughout the treatment, including at the end of the study and at six and 12 months after the start of treatment.

Both non-medication groups reported substantially more pain relief than the medication group. After 12 weeks, about 57 percent of the chiropractic group and 48 percent of the exercise group reported at least a 75 percent reduction in pain, compared to just 33 percent of the people in the medication group.

A year later, more than half of the subjects who had received spinal manipulation or exercise still reported at least 75 percent less pain, compared to just a 38 percent reduction in pain among those who had taken medication.

Spinal Manipulation an Effective Treatment for Neck Pain

The exercises prescribed to patients in the study were simple and designed to be performed at home with the help of instructional photos. Supplement Home Exercises For Neck Pain

Do you need to know more?  Find out for yourself the enormous benefits of Chiropractic care. You’ll be glad you did!
See the story on ABC World News Tonight.