Millions of Americans suffer from chronic pain, especially neck and back pain. With jobs that often require hours of leaning in front of a computer or cash register and increasing commute times, we spend much of our day leaning forward and placing stress on our neck muscles along the spine. Others have suffered from injury, trauma, or the results of an un-ergonomic sleeping situation.
No matter the cause, chronic neck pain can be a debilitating condition to live with. Since major nerves travel from the base of your skull down your neck through the upper cervical vertebrae, neck pain can create a domino effect of pain, discomfort and unusual sensations throughout your back, shoulder, arms, and body in general.
Those suffering from the symptoms of neck pain can find relief in chiropractic for neck pain. In fact, according to a recent study published on treatment options for neck pain, chiropractic treatment and a steady regimen of rehabilitative exercise were both the most effective solutions, beating out medication as a permanent way to end neck pain for good.
The Effectiveness of Chiropractic for Neck Pain
A 2012 study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine compared the effectiveness of three treatment types for relieving symptoms of chronic neck pain: spinal manipulation, home exercise with advice, and medication.
Of the three, spinal manipulation through chiropractic techniques was found to be the most effective, providing the most benefits with the least amount of side effects, giving complete relief to 32 percent of the respective study group.
Exercise regimens given alongside recurring medical advice were almost as effective, with 30 percent of that group reporting complete relief. However, these exercises were instructed to be performed six to eight times a day, with 50 repetitions per set, creating a prohibitively intensive obligation for those seeking treatment.
By contrast, the chiropractic group was able to find relief through just six patient visits over a 12 week period. Their treatments consisted of imaging tests and chiropractic adjustments intended to correct spinal positioning abnormalities known as subluxations. The appointments also may have included tissue massages, assisted stretching and hot/cold pack contrast therapy based on the patient’s individual needs.
For comparison, the medicine only group took non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) drugs like naproxen or acetaminophen, followed by muscle-relaxants or narcotic pain medications if NSAIDs were found to be ineffective. Only 13 percent of this group found relief, making chiropractic over twice as effective as medicine.
Combine Chiropractic and At-Home Exercises for Best Results
Since the regimen of recommended exercises by the exercise group could be considered prohibitively intense, someone’s best option may be to rely on expert chiropractic care and adjustments coupled with a less-intense exercise regimen at home.
First, have your problem diagnosed comprehensively by a chiropractic expert to determine the extent of your subluxation. They can apply initial corrections and recommend a long-term care regimen, including follow-up visits.
Around once or twice a day — more often if your neck is feeling quite stiff or painful — you can try some simple stretches for neck pain as recommended by a licensed physical therapist. Note that if the exercises remain painful or elicit sharp pains, you should stop them and report the pain to your chiropractor or primary care physician.
Through chiropractic and a lifestyle filled with healthy movement and exercise, you can banish neck pain for good and find true, lasting relief and wellness! Book your first chiropractic appointment for neck pain today.