Neck Pain Treatment with Chiropractic

Over the years, we've helped many people in Sheboygan recover from persistent neck pain. This isn't surprising, as research shows that chiropractic care leads to significant improvements for 94% of neck pain patients. But how does chiropractic contrast to other conservative therapies in the management of neck problems?

To answer that question, it's useful to look back at an important study from 2003 published in the British Medical Journal. The study compared various conservative treatments and concluded that manual therapy was the most cost-effective option for neck pain.

Dutch researchers were interested in analyzing not only the costs related with manual therapy but how successfully manual therapy delivered relief compared to other treatments. They randomly assigned 183 patients with acute neck pain to receive treatment from manual therapists (MT), physiotherapists (PT), or general practitioners (GP).

Patients receiving manual therapy had the speediest recovery rate. After seven weeks of care, 68% of the MT group had recovered, as opposed to 51% of the PT group and 36% of the GP group. These differences in recovery rates were still statistically significant after 26 weeks but not after 52 weeks.

To compute costs of treatments, the researchers considered direct costs such as visits to the healthcare provider and the costs of prescription drugs, in addition to indirect costs like work absenteeism and travel time. The manual therapy group had significantly lower costs, with patients spending only a third of the costs spent by patients in the PT and GP groups. On average, manual therapy patients had approximately $611 in costs as opposed to $1773 in the physiotherapy group and $1885 in the general practitioner group (or 447 euros, 1297 euros, and 1379 euros, respectively). Only 9 patients in the MT group claimed missed work due to neck pain, compared to 12 in the PT group and 15 in the GP group.

The decreased cost likely stemmed from the fact that MT patients were using substantially less prescription medications and needed fewer treatment interventions due to quicker recovery rates. The authors concluded that manual therapy, particularly spinal mobilization, is less expensive and more effective at treating neck pain than physical therapy or treatment from a general practitioner.

Dr. Amy Endru has worked with many patients who have suffered from neck pain. If you live in Sheboygan and would like to stop suffering from chronic neck pain, give our office a call at (920) 208-7000 for a consultation.

You can also learn more about the benefits of chiropractic here.

Korthals-de Bos IB, et al. Cost effectiveness of physiotherapy, manual therapy, and general practitioner. British Medical Journal 2003;326:911.