If you are seeking treatment for neck or back pain, consider speaking to a chiropractor. With an increasing number of studies that confirm this treatment option’s effectiveness, you may be surprised by the benefits. So exactly how well does chiropractic care relieve back and neck pain? Let’s take a closer look.
According to a 2011 Consumer Reports study, chiropractic treatment outperformed all other back pain treatment methods, including prescription medication. Of those reporting that a treatment “helped a lot” in the management of their back pain, 65% listed chiropractic as the most effective. In addition to chiropractic, patients reported that other natural therapies helped relieve the pain. More specifically, 51% enjoyed the deep tissue massage, 49% liked yoga/pilates, and 41% preferred acupuncture. Researches found similar results for the treatment of neck pain. In fact, 64% of studied patients chose chiropractic over other methods.
Experts at Minnesota’s Northwestern Health Sciences University also found chiropractic care to be the most useful treatment option. The study followed over 270 people with neck pain for nearly three months. Researchers divided these patients into three treatment groups. The first group received chiropractic care. The second group followed a prescribed exercise schedule. Finally, the third group took prescription medication, like pain killers and muscle relaxers. After three months, the first group reported the greatest pain reduction. 57% no longer experienced pain, while only 33% of group three reported a reduction in pain.
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 chiropractic is even more effective when combined with routine exercise. 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.