Neck pain is a common and costly problem in Western society. Nearly 60% of the population will experience neck pain at some point in their lives, and at any one time about 5% of the North American population has sufficient neck pain to cause disability. (See reference 1).
What causes neck pain? The vast majority of neck pain occurrences are the result of musculoskeletal problems of the muscles, ligaments or joints. However, the pain can be caused by numerous other spinal or non-spinal problems. Determining the cause and structural source of neck pain is important for determining the appropriate treatment.
How can neck pain be treated? For many people with neck pain, effective and timely treatment can shorten the recovery time and reduce the likelihood that the pain will come back. There are numerous treatment options available for the management of neck pain; however, no obvious single treatment modality has been shown to be the best. As such, patient preference plays a large role in determining which treatment option is appropriate (See reference 2).
Chiropractic care is an effective and well-researched therapy for neck pain!
What does the research say? A 2010 review found that spine manipulation or mobilization may provide immediate or short-term improvement in pain and function (See reference 3). Another study found that for people with acute and subacute neck pain, chiropractic adjustments were more effective than medication in both the short and long term (See reference 4).
1) Alexander EP. History, physical examination, and differential diagnosis of neck pain. Phys Med Rehabil Clin N Am. 2011 Aug;22(3):383-93, vii.
2) Plastaras CT, Schran S, Kim N, Sorosky S, Darr D, Chen MS, Lansky R. Complementary and alternative treatment for neck pain: chiropractic, acupuncture, TENS, massage, yoga, Tai Chi, and Feldenkrais. Phys Med Rehabil Clin N Am. 2011 Aug;22(3):521-37, ix.
3) Gross A, Miller J, D’Sylva J, Burnie SJ, Goldsmith CH, Graham N, et al. Manipulation or mobilisation for neck pain. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2010 Jan 20;(1):CD004249.
4) Bronfort G, Evans R, Anderson AV, Svendsen KH, Bracha Y, Grimm RH. Spinal manipulation, medication, or home exercise with advice for acute and subacute neck pain: a randomized trial. Ann Intern Med. 2012 Jan 3;156(1 Pt 1):1-10.