10-15% of people suffer from neck pain, which is most commonly
seen in middle-aged individuals and women. Chiropractors often
provide a form of manual therapy called "mobilization," in
addition to cervical adjustments, intended to increase neck
flexibility and reduce pain.
In a recent study from the Netherlands, 183 patients with
neck pain lasting at least two weeks were divided into three
groups and received either manual therapy, physical therapy,
or continued care from a general practitioner. Manual therapy
involved weekly "hands-on" techniques in which "experienced
manual therapists" sought to decrease restrictions in
neck range of motion; physical therapy focused primarily on
exercise in 30-minute sessions twice per week; and general
practitioner care involved advice on recovery, self-care,
After seven weeks of treatment, the success rate was nearly
twice as high in the manual therapy group as in the group
receiving care from a general practitioner. The recovery rates
were 68%, 51%, and 36% for the manual therapy, physical therapy,
and general care groups, respectively. The manual therapy
patients had half the absences from work due to pain during
the study as the other two groups. Also, manual therapy proved
better than physical therapy in all outcome measures in this
study in the Annals of Internal Medicine.
The fundamental objective of manual therapy is restoration
of normal joint motion. This goal was attained in the study,
with a "relatively large" increase in neck range of motion.
If you are suffering from neck pain, your chiropractor can
treat your symptoms with manual therapy, adjustments, and
neck exercises to address not just the pain, but also range
of motion and strength.
Hoving JL, Koes BW, de Vet HCW, et al. Manual therapy, physical
therapy, or continued care by a general practitioner for patients
with neck pain. Annals of Internal Medicine 2002:136(10),
To read more about neck pain, go to http://www.chiroweb.com/tyh/neckpain.html.