A recent study confirms that natural treatments for neck pain are more effective than medication. This may come as a shock to some, since the medical community’s knee-jerk reaction to pain is to prescribe a pill or administer an injection.
Most people experience neck pain at some point in their lives. For some people, the pain is severe and persists beyond a few days. Luckily, you don’t need to resign to drugs. A study of 272 people with neck pain published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, found at nccam.nih.gov, shows both spinal manipulation and exercises done at home under the advisement of a physical therapist to reduce neck pain significantly better than medications, whether over-the-counter or narcotic. Spinal manipulation and exercise proved almost equally effective. The study assessed short- and long-term outcomes.
After a year, about half of the participants in both the exercise and the manipulation groups reported 75% pain reduction, with only 33% of the medication group reporting similar efficacy of treatment.
Aside from the fact that it removes drugs from their pedestal, this study also suggests that neck pain patients can save money and be more empowered by seeking out exercises first before spending time and money at the chiropractor’s office. The manipulation group saw their chiropractors 15 times on average, whereas the exercise group consulted with a physical therapist only twice. Add to this the the concern that cervical spine manipulation comes with risks, and home exercise with advice emerges as a more appealing neck pain treatment option.