Chronic neck pain is defined as neck pain of more than 3 months duration. Chronic neck pain is a commonly treated condition at chiropractic clinics and successful treatment is well documented in the scientific literature. “Wear and tear” (degenerative changes) and other factors such as working in constrained postures for longer periods of time may also contribute towards the perpetuation of chronic neck pain.
Initially, the chiropractor will interview and examine the patient in order to determine whether chiropractic care is appropriate. X-rays, scans and blood tests are not usually required to manage chronic neck pain but can quickly be arranged at our clinic.
A treatment plan will be decided upon and great emphasis is placed upon patient “understanding”. As opposed to acute neck pain which usually responds quickly to treatment (within a few days) chronic neck pain takes somewhat longer to respond to treatment. However, most cases will demonstrate meaningful improvement within 3-4 sessions. If progress has not been made the chiropractor will refer you to one of the many medical Consultants at our clinic for further investigations.
Chiropractic care consists of spinal manipulation / mobilisation, soft tissue treatment and advice regarding “over the counter” medication, ice/heat and other factors that are of relevance to the individual patient.
Chronic neck pain patients are in need of strengthening programmes in order to restore normal function and optimal spinal health. This therapy is usually exercise focused and carried out under supervision at our clinic gym.
Evidence and Safety
Chiropractic treatment has been investigated in many high quality scientific studies and international guidelines recommend it as a first line treatment for both acute and chronic neck pain. It has been found to be both clinically effective, safe as well as cost-effective.
The Bone and Joint Decade 2000-2010 Task Force on Neck Pain and its Associated Disorders has recently published its findings in a supplementary issue of the European Spine Journal. It was concluded that “a number of alternative and complementary medicine interventions have more evidence of efficacy than traditional medicine”. Chiropractic spinal manipulation was recommended.