In our fast-paced world, when pain strikes, many of us reflexively reach for a pill in seeking relief. When we see a doctor for this pain, we half expect that we will leave with a prescription. But taking medication for pain isn’t always the best choice.
A new study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, and funded by the National Institutes of Health, finds that medication is not the best option for treating neck pain. Examining 272 patients who were suffering from neck pain for 12 weeks, the study found that those who sought treatment from a chiropractor – or exercised regularly – were at least twice as likely to be pain-free compared to those who took medication.
76.5 million people in the United States suffer from some kind of chronic pain, with a whopping one-third of those describing the pain as “disabling.” Of these pain sufferers, the third most common type of pain is described as neck pain, according to the American Pain Foundation.
When most of these pain sufferers seek help, they typically visit their physicians. These visits usually result in a prescription for either nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), acetaminophen (Tylenol) or even very addictive opioids (OxyContin, Vicodin, etc.). These “remedies.,” in all actuality, only mask the pain, they do not address the root-cause of the pain.
The research in the study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine revealed that “For participants with acute and subacute neck pain, SMT [spinal manipulation therapy] was more effective than medication in both the short and long term. However, a few instructional sessions of HEA [home exercise with advice] resulted in similar outcomes at most time points.”
Because chiropractors possess a more comprehensive knowledge of musculoskeletal management, evidence shows that chiropractic management is far safer and most often more effective than pharmaceutical treatments, especially for back and neck pain.
Five specific exercises that target neck pain include:
- Dumbell Shrug
- One Arm Rows
- Upright Rows
- Reverse Fly
- Lateral Raise/Shoulder Abduction
Each of these exercises will most likely be prescribed by a qualified chiropractor.
So, before you reflexively schedule an appointment with a physician who will most likely prescribe you opioids for your pain, try something all-natural for your body. Visit a chiropractor and learn how you can alleviate your neck pain without pharmaceuticals.
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