Not all neck treatments are equal
Neck (cervical spine) pain affects 10-15% of the population, and is more commonly seen in middle-aged individuals. The cervical spine is vulnerable to a number of conditions and injuries because of greater flexibility relative to the middle and lower back. Poor posture, sports injuries, motor vehicle accidents, chronic strain or even sleeping habits can cause neck pain. 1, 2
The goals of treatment of neck pain are to decrease muscle tightness &/or spasm, alleviate pain, restore normal motion and improve overall function.2 Chiropractors use manual therapy along with other techniques to accomplish these goals.
Manual therapy can involve either joint manipulation (adjusting) or joint mobilizations which both aim to increase neck flexibility and reduced pain.
In a recent study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, 183 patients were separated into 3 groups and received either: manual therapy, physical therapy or ongoing general practitioner (GP) care. Manual therapy involved weekly “hands-on” techniques where the therapist sought to decrease restriction (areas of tightness) in neck range of motion; physical therapy involved 30 minute exercise sessions twice weekly; ongoing GP care involved analgesics and advice on self-care and ergonomics3.
After 7 weeks of treatment, the improvements noted were twice as high in the manual therapy versus GP care group. The recovery rates were 68% for manual therapy, 51% for physical therapy and 36% for GP care. In addition, the patients in the manual therapy group had half the absences from work due to pain. 3 A follow up study showed that after one year the success rate was still higher for the group of patients receiving manual therapy. 4
If you are suffering from neck pain see us at Clear Path Chiropractic Health Centre – Guelph’s chiropractors for better health.
Note: This article is for information purposes only. Consult your healthcare provider prior to starting any changes to your health routine.
- Souza. Differential diagnosis and management for chiropractors. Aspen 2001.
- Huff LW. Instant Access to Chiropractic Guidelines and Protocols. Mosby 1999.
- Hoving JL, Koes BW et al. Manual therapy, physical therapy or continued care by a GP for patients with neck pain. A randomized controlled trial. Ann Internal Medicine 2002:136, pp 713-22.
- Hoving JL, Koes BW, Manual therapy, physical therapy or continued care by the GP for patients with neck pain: long term results. Clin J Pain 2006: 22, pp 370-7.