According to studies chronic pain is a common condition spreading to an estimated 76.5 million Americans, one-third of whom describe their pain as severe and “disabling”. The American Pain Foundation reports that neck pain is the third most common type of pain. An estimated 70 percent of people will experience neck pain sometime in their life and treatment is surprisingly limited. Most people suffering from neck pain will seek medical help from their family doctor but most likely all they will receive is a prescription for a medication.
Medication is typically not the best option for treating neck pain. According to a new study, those who used a chiropractor or exercise were more than twice as likely to be pain free compared to those who took medication.
After following 272 neck-pain patients for 12 weeks, those who used a chiropractor or exercise were more than twice as likely to be pain free compared to those who took medication.
- 32 percent who received chiropractic care became pain free
- 30 percent of those who exercised became pain free
- 13 percent of those treated with medication became pain free
Exercise often leads to improved posture, range of motion and functionality of the body which may help treat the underlying source of pain, as well as help prevent chronic neck pain from developing in the first place. Exercise helps prevent and relieve pain through a number of mechanisms including strengthening key supportive muscles and restoring flexibility.