Posts Tagged ‘Neck pain

05
Nov
13

Chiropractic More Effective for Neck Pain Than Other Therapies


man-with-neck-pain-200-300Neck pain is believed to affect between 10% and 15% of the general population, and is particularly likely in those over 50 years of age. Neck pain is frequently accompanied by headaches, dizziness or other symptoms.  In addition, certain movements or sustained postures of the neck can aggravate the pain and stiffness and add to a limit in range of motion.

Common treatments for neck pain include prescription analgesics along with some type of physical therapy (usually massage, application of heat and/or specialized exercises) to deal with the pain and improve function.  However, the results of a randomized controlled trial published in the Annals of Internal Medicine showed that manual therapy, such as chiropractic care performed by a certified chiropractor, was more effective than either physical therapy or continued care by a general practitioner.

The study involved 183 patients between 18 and 70 years of age who had reported having non-specific neck pain for two weeks or more. Patients were randomly assigned to one of three groups: manual therapy, physical therapy or continued care by their physician.

Those referred to a manual therapist had a 45-minute treatment once a week for up to six weeks; those who were treated by a physical therapist had a 30-minute treatment twice a week for up to six weeks; and the remaining patients who were under continuing care from their doctor were given medication to treat pain and inflammation, were instructed in the use of hot compresses and were given exercises they could perform at home to treat their neck pain. All patients included in the study were allowed to use exercises at home, non-prescription pain medication and any medication that his or her physician may have prescribed before the beginning of the study in the treatment of their neck pain.

Seven weeks after the beginning of the study, patients were asked to rate their neck pain, from “much worse” to “completely recovered,” and the researchers compared the number of patients in each group who had reported feeling at least “much improved.” The results indicated that 68.3% of the manual therapy group reported feeling either “much improved” or “completely recovered,” compared with 50.8% of patients in the physical therapy group and 35.9% of patients in the physician-treated group.

Despite the fact that the lead author of the study is a physical therapist, the study noted that “the physical therapy patients achieved significantly worse success rates while using twice the number of patient visits as the manual therapy group.” The researchers concluded that “in daily practice, manual therapy is a favorable treatment option for patients with neck pain compared with physical therapy or continued care by a general practitioner,” and that “primary care physicians should consider [referral for] manual therapy when treating patients with neck pain.”

 

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13
Aug
13

Spotlight on Massage and Lower Back Pain


According to the National Institutes of Health, lower back pain is the second most common form of chronic pain after headaches. Expertssirene tropicale estimate that approximately 80% of Americans will seek help for low back pain at some point during their lives. Public health officials and insurers estimate that Americans spend $50 billion each year on treatments that are often ineffective. The standard treatment for lower back pain is to take muscle relaxants, painkillers or anti-inflammatory medications, along with physical therapy and back exercises. However, few medical interventions relieve pain reliably, and continuing to take painkillers on a long-term basis is not advised. Massage, on the other hand, has been found to be an effective way of dealing with back pain on a regular basis.

Treatment for lower back pain accounts for approximately a third of all visits to a massage therapist. A study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine found that patients suffering from lower back pain of unknown origin were helped more by massage than by conventional medical treatment. Of 401 total study participants, 133 received traditional medical care with no massage, 132 received structural massage (which addresses particular muscular and skeletal structures that cause pain) and 36 received relaxation massage (a general form of massage, such as Swedish, intended for overall relaxation).

Participants in the massage groups received one hour-long massage once a week for 10 weeks. All participants completed a questionnaire at the beginning of the study, then again at 10 weeks, 24 weeks and a year after the beginning of the study to report on their perceived pain. Both kinds of massage groups reported greater pain relief and ease of motion after 10 weeks of treatment than the medical group.

An average of 37% of the patients in the massage groups reported that their pain was almost or completely gone, while only 4% of the usual care group reported similar results. This was also the case at 26 weeks. However, at the one-year mark, the benefits to all groups were about equal. The type of massage used did not seem to matter, with both massage groups experiencing comparable levels of pain relief. The massage groups were less likely to report having used medication for their back pain after the 10 weeks of intervention, and they also reported having spent fewer days in bed and had lost fewer days of work or school than those in the usual care group.

Dr. Richard A. Deyo, professor of family medicine at Oregon Health and Science University in Portland says of the study, “I think this trial is good news in the sense that it suggests that massage is a useful option that helps some substantial fraction of these patients. Like in most other treatments, this is not a slam dunk, and it’s not like a cure, but it’s something that seems to offer a significant benefit for a substantial number of patients.” Deyo sees massage as a way of people being able to break out of the pain-inactivity cycle. He notes, “I don’t see massage as the final solution, I see it as maybe a helpful step toward getting people more active.”

 

Dr Dubois, DC, CCSP

Pierre DuboisDr. Dubois, a Swiss physician, and a Triangle Certified Sport Chiropractor has over 20 years of experience in the treatment and prevention of disorders of the musculoskeletal system. Amongst his patients, two world champions in martial arts (gold medalists in 2005 WMJA), one carrier of the Olympic flame in 2004, and numerous soccer players, swimmers and athletes of all levels who benefited from his chiropractic care.

28
Feb
13

How Well Does Chiropractic Care Relieve Back and Neck Pain?


If you have never considered going to a chiropractor to treat the pain in your neck or back, maybe you should.  There are an increasing number of studies that confirm the effectiveness of chiropractic care in the treatment of back and neck pain, ???????????????????????particularly in comparison with pain-relieving drugs.

According to a report published in the September 2011 issue of Consumer Reports, chiropractic treatment outperformed all other methods for treating back pain, including prescription medication.  Of those reporting that a treatment “helped a lot” in the management of their back pain, 65% listed chiropractic (the highest rated treatment) as the most effective, as opposed to 53% for prescription medication.  Other natural therapies were also useful (e.g. deep tissue massage helped 51% of patient a lot, yoga/pilates–49%, acupuncture–41%), but none approached the effectiveness of chiropractic care.  Similar results were found for the treatment of neck pain (chiropractic–64%, prescription medication–49%).  Results were based on the Consumer Reports National Research Center’s 2010 Annual Questionnaire, analyzed by researchers from the Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database.

In a study performed by researchers at Minnesota’s Northwestern Health Sciences University, chiropractic care was more effective for treating neck pain than medications such as aspirin, ibuprofen or narcotic pain relievers.  The study, published in The Annals of Internal Medicine, followed over 270 people with neck pain for about three months.  These people were divided into three different treatment groups.  The first group received chiropractic care, the second group was prescribed exercises to do at home and the third group was prescribed painkillers or muscle relaxers.  Approximately 57% of the chiropractic group reported experiencing a reduction in pain of at least 75%, compared with 33% of those in the medication group.

Author of the study, Dr. Gert Bronfort, a research professor at the university, said that of the positive changes that had resulted from chiropractic treatment, “These changes were diminished over time, but they were still present.  Even a year later, there were differences between the spinal manipulation and medication groups.”

Another downside that the medication group experienced was that it was necessary to keep taking the painkillers.  Dr. Bronfort said, “The people in the medication group kept on using a higher amount of medication more frequently throughout the follow-up period, up to a year later.”  One of the great benefits of chiropractic care is that it treats the source of the problem, leading to long-term pain relief, in comparison with painkillers that just mask the symptoms.

Research has found that the most benefit in the relief of neck and back pain comes from a combination of chiropractic care and exercises you do at home.  Your chiropractor can suggest effective exercises that you can do at home in between adjustments that will work synergistically with your chiropractic care so that you can experience long-term relief from your back and neck pain.

Dr Dubois, DC, CCSP

Pierre DuboisDr. Dubois, a Swiss physician, and a Triangle Certified Sport Chiropractor has over 20 years of experience in the treatment and prevention of disorders of the musculoskeletal system. Amongst his patients, two world champions in martial arts (gold medalists in 2005 WMJA), one carrier of the Olympic flame in 2004, and numerous soccer players, swimmers and athletes of all levels who benefited from his chiropractic care.

 




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