As an Indianapolis Chiropractor, I get specific articles sent to me from time to time.  A recent study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine found that spinal manipulations and exercise are more effective at relieving neck pain than taking pain medication.

In a study, participants were divided into three groups.  One group received manipulations from a chiropractor, another group took pain medication such as narcotics, over-the-counter pain relievers and/or muscle relaxants and the third group began an exercise program.  After 12 weeks, 57% of those that met with a chiropractor reported a 75% reduction in pain and 48% of those people that started an exercise program reported the same results.  Only 33% reported a reduction of pain in the group that took the medications and pain relievers.  After one year, approximately 53% of the chiropractic group still reported at least a 75% reduction in the pain compared to just 38% of those that took medication.

The study also found that those using medication, even though experiencing some pain relief, found the need to use higher amounts of the medication and more frequently as time went on an that some prescription strength pain relievers were needed.  This raises the concern that prescription use in the U.S. could reach a crisis level.

Doctors of Chiropractic have long advised against the overuse of medication to treat pain.  Pain is your bodies alarm system.  It is telling you that something is not how it should be.  Silencing the alarm and not addressing the cause of the alarm is not a good solution.  Chiropractors promote drug-free methods in dealing with neck pain before relying on the use of any type of medication.  Patients need to be aware that there are natural, drug-free options when it comes to neck pain relief.

So, what causes neck pain and how can we at Meridian Chiropractic help you?  Your neck is the most vulnerable part of your spine.  Not only does it support a 10-12 pound head, maintain a gentle forward curve, and permit head rotation, but your neck must also allow for the free flow of nerve impuses to your head, face, hand and the rest of your body.  Besides discomfort and annoyance, neck pain can be a sign that something else is wrong.

Many everyday things can cause neck pain, such as watching TV, sitting at a computer, reading or falling asleep in a chair or on the couch.  The body’s response to stress is another common cause of neck pain….such as deadlines, traffic, work or family pressures.  Ever meet someone that is “a pain in the neck?”  Each of us is susceptible to people  and our enviroment and these perceptions can show up in the form of neck pain.  Some neck pain that results can resolve itself on its own but if it doesn’t, then further medical attention is indicated.

How do you know if you are a chiropractic candidate?  The first thing to do is call us and make an appointment.  A thorough examination by Dr. Jeff Yoder DC will determine if chiropractic care can help you.  Your chiropractor will perform many tests such as your ability to turn and bend, the muscle tone in the supporting muscles of the neck and the underlying structure of the spine may be tested.  These and many other tests are specifically designed to identify the cause and the location of your neck pain.  Your chiropractor will then have recommmendations and advise as to how chiropractic care can help you.

So, while chiropractic care cannot reduce the stress in your busy life, it can improve your ability to handle it and tolerate it.  And WITHOUT drugs or surgery!