Chiropractic Better for Neck Pain

Chiropractic treatment proved to be the a better approach to treating neck pain than taking painkillers.  That’s the conclusion of a recent research study published in January, 2012 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

neck mobilization

In this study, 272 participants with neck pain were randomly assigned to one of three treatment groups.  One group received chiropractic care, one group was treated with medication, and a third group was instructed in a program of home exercise.

All three groups achieved a certain degree of pain relief.  But both in the short term (2-4 weeks) and the long run (up to 52 weeks), those patients receiving chiropractic manual therapy improved the most.

The statistical analysis supported the conclusion that the better outcomes in the chiropractic group as compared to the medicated group did not occur strictly by chance.

And those in the chiropractically-treated group also fared better than those who received advice on home exercise, though the data were not robust enough to rule out that the differences were just due to the luck of the draw.

Chiropractic Neck Treatment Proves Safest

Information also emerged about the occurrence of adverse effects during treatment.  There were no serious or long-lasting negative results for any patient in any treatment group.   Only 40% of those in the chiropractic group had minor, temporary side-effects (such as mildly increased pain or headache), whereas 60% of those in the medication-treated group had minor side effects such as stomach upset or drowsiness.

Moreover, participants who were medicated were more likely to be continuing to take pain medication even one year after beginning treatment.

Best of Both Worlds

In my multidimensional chiropractic approach, I combine two proven methods: hands on spinal therapy and therapeutic exercise and alignment.  That way, patients recover more quickly and maintain their improvement for the long haul, limiting their use of medication as much as possible.


Deepen Your Body of Knowledge

More research on neck pain & pinched nerves

Exercises for neck pain – can we do better?


About Ronald Lavine, D.C.

Dr. Lavine has more than thirty years' experience helping patients alleviate pain and restore health using diverse, scientifically-based manual therapy and therapeutic exercise and alignment methods. His website,, provides more information about his approach. Please contact him at or at 212-400-9663.
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