A study in the Annals of Internal Medicine shows manual therapy is highly effective in treating patients suffering with neck pain and restricted range of motion.
Neck pain affects 10-15% of people and is particularly common among middle-aged men and women.
183 patients who had suffered with neck pain for at least a two week period participated in a study conducted in the Netherlands.
The patients were divided into three treatment groups — manual therapy, physical therapy, or continued care from a general practitioner.
Patients in the manual therapy group were adjusted in order to reduce restrictions in the neck’s range of motion; physical therapy patients participated in 30-minute exercise sessions two times per week; and patients who were under the care of a general practitioner were given advice on recovery, self-care, and ergonomics.
Researchers found that after seven weeks of treatment, patients in the Chiropractic group showed a success rate two times higher than the patients in the general practitioner group.
Recovery rates were 68% among manual therapy patients; 51% among physical therapy patients, and 36% for patients in the general practitioner group.
Patients in the manual therapy group not only showed a higher recovery rate, but also had 50% less absences from work due to pain than the other groups and demonstrated better results in all outcome measures than the other two groups.
Chiropractors commonly administer manual therapy in order to increase neck flexibility and to reduce pain.
According to researchers, the study met their main objective — with a relatively large increase in neck range of motion.
Dr. Connor McCormick