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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