Conditions Chiropractic May Help: Chronic neck pain


I found this image on Facebook and I thought it was worth sharing with all of you.  What I liked about the image is that it shows many of the conditions I find to be successfully treated in my Chiropractic/Athletic Therapy practise. What I was curious about, when viewing this picture, was if these were actual quotes in the research.  There are no references on the picture but I did find a website that gave some references.  The problems with these references is that either I couldn’t find the article in an internet search or I couldn’t read more than the abstract and if I could read it I did not find the statistical quotes.  If anyone finds them please send them to me.
I decided to search for some evidence of these stated benefits even if I couldn’t find the direct quote. This post will be the first of several blog posts on the above statements.
1. Chronic Neck Pain: “Nearly 80% of chronic neck pain patients improve significantly with chiropractic care”.
Take a look at some of the literature.  You will see that spinal manipulation is of benefit for chronic neck pain especially if a neck exercise program is also performed.
Study Design. A randomized, prospective clinical study was conducted that included 119 patients with chronic neck pain of greater than 3 months’ duration.
Objectives. To compare the relative effectiveness of intensive training of the cervical musculature, a physiotherapy treatment regimen, and chiropractic treatment on this patient group.
Summary of Background Data. There are only a few studies involving chronic neck pain patients representative of those seeking care in primary health care centers. Mobilization techniques and intensive training have been shown to be useful, but cervical manipulation has not been assessed. Clinical results involving these commonly used therapies have not been compared.
Methods. A total of 167 consecutive patients were screened. One hundred nineteen patients were admitted to the study and were randomized according to Taves’ minimization principles. Primary outcome measures included self-reported pain, disability, medication use, patients’ perceived effect, and physician’s global assessment. Patients were assessed at enrollment and at completion of the study. Postal questionnaires were used to carry out 4- and 12-month follow-up assessments. Secondary outcome measures included active range of motion of the cervical spine as well as strength and endurance measurements of the cervical musculature. These measurements were carried out at enrollment and completion of the study.
Results. A total of 88% of the patients completed the study. Of these, 97% completed the 4-month questionnaire and 93% the 12-month questionnaire. Patients from all three groups demonstrated significant improvements regarding self-reported pain and disability on completion of the study. Improvements were maintained throughout the follow-up period. Medication use was also significantly reduced in all groups. There was, however, no significant difference between groups at any assessment period. Physician’s and patients’ assessments were also positive, and again group scores were essentially equal. Patients who underwent intensive training demonstrated significantly greater endurance levels at the completion of treatment.
Conclusions. There was no clinical difference between the three treatments. All three treatment interventions demonstrated meaningful improvement in all primary effect parameters. Improvements were maintained at 4- and 12-month follow-up. However, whether this was a result of the treatments or simply a result of time is unknown. Future studies will be necessary to delineate ideal treatment strategies.
Study Design. A randomized, parallel-group, single-blinded clinical trial was performed. After a 1-week baseline period, patients were randomized to 11 weeks of therapy, with posttreatment follow-up assessment 3, 6, and 12 months later.
Objectives. To compare the relative efficacy of rehabilitative neck exercise and spinal manipulation for the management of patients with chronic neck pain.
Summary of Background Data. Mechanical neck pain is a common condition associated with substantial morbidity and cost. Relatively little is known about the efficacy of spinal manipulation and exercise for chronic neck pain. Also, the combination of both therapies has yet to be explored.
Methods. Altogether, 191 patients with chronic mechanical neck pain were randomized to receive 20 sessions of spinal manipulation combined with rehabilitative neck exercise (spinal manipulation with exercise), MedX rehabilitative neck exercise, or spinal manipulation alone. The main outcome measures were patient-rated neck pain, neck disability, functional health status (as measured by Short Form-36 [SF-36]), global improvement, satisfaction with care, and medication use. Range of motion, muscle strength, and muscle endurance were assessed by examiners blinded to patients’ treatment assignment.
Results. Clinical and demographic characteristics were similar among groups at baseline. A total of 93% of the patients completed the intervention phase. The response rate for the 12-month follow-up period was 84%. Except for patient satisfaction, where spinal manipulative therapy and exercise were superior to spinal manipulation with (P = 0.03), the group differences in patient-rated outcomes after 11 weeks of treatment were not statistically significant (P = 0.13). However, the spinal manipulative therapy and exercise group showed greater gains in all measures of strength, endurance, and range of motion than the spinal manipulation group (P < 0.05). The spinal manipulation with exercise group also demonstrated more improvement in flexion endurance and in flexion and rotation strength than the MedX group (P < 0.03). The MedX exercise group had larger gains in extension strength and flexion–extension range of motion than the spinal manipulation group (P < 0.05). During the follow-up year, a greater improvement in patient-rated outcomes were observed for spinal manipulation with exercise and for MedX exercise than for spinal manipulation alone (P = 0.01). Both exercise groups showed very similar levels of improvement in patient-rated outcomes, although the spinal manipulation and exercise group reported greater satisfaction with care (P < 0.01).
Conclusions. For chronic neck pain, the use of strengthening exercise, whether in combination with spinal manipulation or in the form of a high-technology MedX program, appears to be more beneficial to patients with chronic neck pain than the use of spinal manipulation alone. The effect of low-technology exercise or spinal manipulative therapy alone, as compared with no treatment or placebo, and the optimal dose and relative cost effectiveness of these therapies, need to be evaluated in future studies.
Purpose: To determine whether spinal manipulation as an isolated intervention has any effect on proprioception-dependent performance of subjects with chronic neck pain, compared with effects achieved through stretching exercises.
Design: Matched, nonrandomized, controlled trial.
Setting: Private chiropractic clinic.
Participants: Twenty subjects with chronic (daily, > or = 4 months) neck pain. Volunteers were recruited from a pool of patients visiting the clinic or from those referred by informed clinicians.
Intervention: Half of the subjects received six sessions of high-velocity, low-amplitude manipulation to the cervical and upper thoracic regions during a 3-4 wk period. The other half were instructed in stretching exercises for the cervicothoracic muscles, to be performed in two unsupervised sessions daily over the same time period.
Main Outcome Measurements: Pain levels were assessed at baseline and at each of six follow-up sessions using a 100-mm visual analogue scale. The abilities of the blindfolded subjects to reproduce a neutral head position after moving the head and neck through various planes of motion was the method used to estimate proprioceptive acuity. This was done with the use of a laser pointer affixed to the top of an adjustable cap. Points were marked and measured on a target before and after head movement and repositioning.
Results: Subjects receiving manipulation demonstrated a mean reduction in visual analogue scores of 44%, along with a 41% improvement in mean scores for the head repositioning skill. In comparison, a 9% mean reduction in visual analogue scores and a 12% improvement in head repositioning scores was observed for the stretching group. The difference in the outcomes of the head repositioning skill scores was significant (p < or = .05).
Conclusion: The results suggest a possible effect of manipulation on proprioception in subjects with chronic neck pain. The small sample size, lack of true randomization and lack of blinding of the examiner are factors that weaken these findings. Larger, more controlled studies are needed to determine what specific effects manipulation may have on the function of proprioception.
Objectives. To compare the effects of spinal manipulation combined with low-tech rehabilitative exercise, MedX rehabilitative exercise, or spinal manipulation alone in patient self-reported outcomes over a two-year follow-up period.
Summary of Background Data. There have been few randomized clinical trials of spinal manipulation and rehabilitative exercise for patients with neck pain, and most have only reported short-term outcomes.
Methods. One hundred ninety-one patients with chronic neck pain were randomized to 11 weeks of one of the three treatments. Patient self-report questionnaires measuring pain, disability, general health status, improvement, satisfaction, and OTC medication use were collected after 5 and 11 weeks of treatment and 3, 6, 12, and 24 months after treatment. Data were analyzed taking into account all time points using repeated measures analyses.
Results. Ninety-three percent (178) of randomized patients completed the 11-week intervention phase, and 76% (145) provided data at all evaluation time points over the two-year follow-up period. A difference in patient-rated pain with no group-time interaction was observed in favor of the two exercise groups [F(2141) = 3.2;P = 0.04]. There was also a group difference in satisfaction with care [F(2143) = 7.7;P = 0.001], with spinal manipulation combined with low-tech rehabilitative exercise superior to MedX rehabilitative exercise (P = 0.02) and spinal manipulation alone (P < 0.001). No significant group differences were found for neck disability, general health status, improvement, and OTC medication use, although the trend over time was in favor of the two exercise groups.
Conclusion. The results of this study demonstrate an advantage of spinal manipulation combined with low-tech rehabilitative exercise and MedX rehabilitative exercise versus spinal manipulation alone over two years and are similar in magnitude to those observed after one-year follow-up. These results suggest that treatments including supervised rehabilitative exercise should be considered for chronic neck pain sufferers. Further studies are needed to examine the cost effectiveness of these therapies and how spinal manipulation compares to no treatment or minimal intervention.
I hope you found this interesting
Dr Notley

5 thoughts on “Conditions Chiropractic May Help: Chronic neck pain

  1. Love your blog! I’ve been recovering from a neck injury and been researching into ways to stop the pain. Thanks for posting!

  2. Pingback: Conditions Chiropractic May Help With: Carpal Tunnel and Tennis Elbow –

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