Spinal manipulation is a very controversial type of treatment, albeit also a very popular form of alternative medicine. Unfortunately, in numerous reports, it has now been made clear that the treatment is often capable of doing more harm than good. At the same time, however, if a real professional does it, then it could have benefits as well, particularly in the treatment of neck pain.
Spinal Manipulation Treatment for Neck Pain
Neck pain is one of the most common conditions that a range of medical professionals have to deal with. This includes regular doctors and physicians, physical therapists, chiropractors and more. Indeed, around 75% of people will experience some kind of neck pain during their life to a degree that it negatively affects their quality of living for a period of time.
A significant issue is that there doesn’t seem to be any real knowledge about the long term effectiveness of different types of treatment. Luckily, however, some scientists have now taken it upon themselves to compare different treatment options, mainly being:
• Spinal manipulation therapy (SMT)
• Advised home exercise
Patients were studied for a period of time and were assigned one of the three type of treatment to review which one had the greatest benefits. Of course, the SMT was only delivered by licensed and registered chiropractors, who were actually well-versed in the various techniques. Those on medication were simply prescribed an NSAID or other over the counter pain killer. Those with significant pain would be prescribed muscle relaxants and/or narcotics. Finally, self-mobilization exercises were prescribed by registered physiotherapist.
Interesting, those who were in the SMT group had the most notable positive changes at the end of the test period, which does demonstrate there must be spinal manipulation benefits. The study continued for several more months (it started as a three month study, then became a six month study and finally a full year study), and the results remained the same.
It is very important to take this study into consideration. People want to reduce their health care costs and they want to receive treatment that actually works for them. Spinal manipulation seems to have received a really bad name, but it is believed that this is mainly due to unlicensed practitioners delivering the treatment, which should never be an option. If it is done properly, patients will require fewer visits to medical professionals and fewer pain medication.