Researchers from Duke University and University of North Carolina, reveal in a report printed in November issue of Arthritis and Care Research, that the use of narcotics and diagnostic tested are overused when it comes to treating chronic neck pain. Their data shows that practitioners may disregard more productive treatments for neck pain such as therapeutic exercise. Treatments as this type are good for chronic neck pain however, only 53% of subjects were prescribe this treatment. The information is based on reported data from a representative sample of residents in North Carolina.
Past studies have called attention to neck pain affecting 30 to 50 percent of adults in the general populace regardless of year. Among those patients 50 to 85 percent do not find that their symptoms totally resolved and some still having chronic, impairing pain. Chronic neck pain much alike lower back pain, most of the time does not react to the treatment provided and can have similar economic impact in regards of time loss of employment and larger healthcare costs.
In the study, Adam Goode, PT, DPT and associate from the University of North Carolina, Cecil G. Sheps, Center for Health Services Research, had used information from 2006 telephone survey consisting of 5,357 North Carolina households. Researchers examined responses from 135 adults that were non-institutionalized, over 21 years old and with chronic neck pain, detailed as pain and activity limits almost every day for the past three months or more than 24 occurrences of pain the past year which limited activity for one day or more. Among the participants 56% were female and most were Caucasian 81%.
Findings had shown that the predominance of chronic, impairing neck pain influence in the North Carolina populace of 2.2%. Researchers note the average length of chronic pain was 6.9 years and the subjects visiting around five different healthcare practitioners and 21 ambulatory care cases.
The study also notes participants had received 1.6 diagnostic tests like spinal radiographs 45% and MRI at 30%. In the previous year those who had x-rays of the spine, averaged two different sets taken, which researchers report are inconsistent with clinical decision making guidelines for diagnostic imaging. Dr. Goode remarks patients with a long enduring disease, the chances that imaging methods would provide clinically important interferences may decline.
Greater than 56% of the subjects used over-the-counter medications and 29% strong narcotics such as oxycodone. Researchers report medical evidence on effectiveness of medications for the treatment of chronic neck pain is limited.
Rehabilitation conditioning and alternative treatments such as acupuncture are very effective yet few patients in the study had used them.
Below are some noted effective treatments for chronic neck pain.
Studies have demonstrated acupuncture is effective in relieving certain kinds of chronic neck pain especially from whiplash. There have been a few studies advocating acupuncture can treat degenerative neck disorders like anklosing spondylosis. Acupuncture has worked in many cases when conventional treatments have failed.
In some cases of chronic neck pain Chinese herbs may also be prescribed by the practitioner. Some include the formula Ease 2, that will ease muscle tension, ingredients include Peony root and Licorice root.
Neck adjustments also called cervical manipulation is an exact procedure applied to joints of the neck and usually done by hand. These adjustments improve mobility to the spine and increase range of motion. It also increases movement in adjoining muscles. Patients usually note improved ability to turn neck and tilt head along with decreased pain, soreness and stiffness.
The chiropractor will develop a treatment plan which can consist of one or more types of treatments. These can include massage and therapeutic exercises.
Scientific literature reviews have found evidence that patients who endure chronic neck pain have remarked improvement after chiropractic treatments. High quality evidence was substantiated for the treatment of chronic neck pain and chiropractic treatments.
Therapeutic massage after ten weeks of care has shown major improvement in functioning and relief of associated symptoms. Researchers have concluded that therapeutic massage is totally safe and does provide benefits for chronic neck pain at least in short term.Sources:
Medical News Today