A study published on Annals of Internal Medicine suggests that chiropractic treatments are better than over the counter prescription drugs both in short-term and long-term on sub-acute and acute neck pain. The study suggests that spinal manipulative therapy surpasses the effects of medications which are widely available for patients with different levels of neck pain.

The study was conducted under the supervision of Vice President of Research, Dr. Gert Bronfort, and Dean of Research, Dr. Roni Evans both of North Western Health Sciences University. The study was on 272 adults aging from 18 to 65, all of which were suffering from non specific mechanical neck pain that has a duration of between 2 to 12 weeks. Another criteria was a neck pain score of 3 or greater. The group was then grouped into three; the first group received chiropractic spinal manipulation techniques, the second group went through a series of mobilization exercises for at least an hour with one to two weeks interval under the supervision of a physical therapist. The last group was monitored by a group of doctor and were given NSAIDs or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.

The study was concluded through the examination of seven trained examiners who were not informed of the details of the study.  Of the 3 groups:

  • The first group which received chiropractic spinal manipulation treatments showed more than 82 percent of the group experienced more than 50 percent reduction in pain at week 12, 57% of which experienced 75 % reduction and pain and the remaining 32 % experienced 100 % reduction in pain
  • The second group who all went through guided exercises tallied at 72 % for 50 % pain reduction 48 % for 75 % pain reduction and 30% of the group experienced 100 % pain reduction. The group who went through pain management through NSAID’s fared with 69% with 50 % pain reduction with 33% of which experienced 75 % pain reduction, only 13 % experienced 100% pain reduction.
  • 81 Percent of the group who went through SMT (Spinal Manipulation Treatment) reported 100 % pain reduction in week 52
  • The remaining reported at least 50% pain reduction during this time frame

The study only suggests that patients who went through SMT experienced better pain relief in both short and long-term pain improvement. The group which went through home exercise advice almost had the same results while the group who took NSAID’s fared worse and most needed a higher dose of pain medications. Full report can be found  at DynamicChiropractic.com

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