Neck pain is no joke. Whether you’re sitting, standing, lying down or moving around, it can cause anything from a nagging discomfort to an excruciating sensation and few things allow for a reprieve from the pain. Additionally, the modern conveniences that technology provides may be costing us more than we think. Days spent typing at a computer, constant gazing downward at our handheld devices and holding our phones against our shoulders so we can multi-task, are just a few of the daily actions that create the nagging pains in our necks. Neck pain can be classified by three types:
- New and acute neck pain;
- Chronic neck pain (duration of 90 days or more); and
- Repetitive Stress Injury (where the pain builds up silently, over time)
There are several factors that can cause neck pain, and many of them are “silent offenders”, meaning that they tend to cause problems (pain) to build up over time, as opposed to an immediate reaction. These factors include:
– Stress (which cause neck muscles to tense up)
– Poor posture
– Poor sleeping habits (Over/Under supportive pillow)
– Poor ergonomics
– Infrequent stretch breaks at work
Can making corrections to these contributing factors reduce the likelihood of neck pain? To an extent, perhaps, but there are other causes for cervical distress and a treatment solution is your best line of defense. According to extensive research by medical professionals, Chiropractic care and low-tech exercises (taught by your chiropractor) are far more effective than OTC medication and/or physical therapy. Not to mention the cost and time savings. Check out this excerpt from an article entitled Chiropractic & Exercise vs. OTC Medication for Neck Pain from chiro-trust.org:
However, this new research clearly supports that seeing a chiropractor and/or engaging in light exercise can bring neck pain relief more effectively than relying on pain medications! Researchers even found that the benefits of chiropractic adjustments were still favored A YEAR LATER when comparing the differences between the spinal manipulation and medication treated groups! Moderate acute neck pain is one of the most frequent complaints prompting appointments at primary care/medical clinics and is estimated to account for millions of doctor visits per year. In some cases, pain and stiffness occurs without a known cause and there is no “standard” medical treatment. Though physical therapy, pain medication, and chiropractic have all been utilized for neck pain, until now no one had compared the benefits of each in a single study.
The study consisted of 272 neck pain subjects split up into three groups: 1) Chiropractic group (approximately 20-minute treatments an average of 15 times); 2) Pain medication group (meds included acetaminophen, and in some cases stronger prescription meds including narcotics and muscle relaxants); 3) Physical Therapy group (consisting of meeting twice and receiving advice and exercise instruction at 5-10 repetitions up to eight times a day).
At the end of three months, the chiropractic and exercise group did significantly better than those who took drugs. Approximately 57% of those receiving chiropractic management and 48% of those who did the exercises reported at least 75% reduction in pain vs. 33% of people in the medication group. A year after the treatment period ended, the numbers decreased to 53% in the chiropractic and exercise groups, compared to 38% in pain medication group. The chiropractic group received the highest scores in patient satisfaction at all time points. An interesting downside noted in the medication study group was that the subjects had to use a progressively greater amount of medication at a progressively increased frequency to manage their pain. Stomach trouble is the most common side effect of NSAIDs (leading to ulcers) as well as liver and kidney problems. Another interesting finding was that the subjects in the medication treated group felt less empowered, less active, and less in control over their own condition compared with those in the other two groups.
Regardless of the cause behind your neck pain, the best option for relief is chiropractic. Bloomingdale Chiropractic Clinic can evaluate your condition, get you started on a treatment plan and set you on the path to long-term relief from the neck pain that is plaguing you. Our mission is to restore better health, wellness and quality of life to you, our patient, and to always provide you with superior chiropractic care. With 50+ years of combined experience in Chiropractic medicine, and multiple treatment options, we can meet your needs and exceed your expectations. Call us today to set your appointment and get the neck pain relief you so desperately need.