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Spinal Manipulation, Home Exercise May Ease Neck Pain
Date:1/3/2012

By Serena Gordon
HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, Jan. 2 (HealthDay News) -- Spinal manipulation and home exercise are more effective at relieving neck pain in the long term than medications, according to new research.

People undergoing spinal manipulation therapy for neck pain also reported greater satisfaction than people receiving medication or doing home exercises.

"We found that there are some viable treatment options for neck pain," said Gert Bronfort, vice president of research at the Wolfe-Harris Center for Clinical Studies at Northwestern Health Sciences University in Bloomington, Minn.

"What we don't really know yet is how to individualize these treatments for each particular patient. All are probably still viable treatment options, but what we don't know is what each particular patient will need," Bronfort said, adding that it's possible a combination of treatments might be helpful, too.

Results of the study are published in the Jan. 3 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine. Funding for the study was provided by the U.S. National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine.

Neck pain is an extremely common problem. About three-quarters of adults report having neck pain at some point in their lives, according to background information in the study. Neck pain is responsible for millions of health care visits each year, and it can have a negative impact on quality of life.

Spinal manipulation is one type of treatment that's offered for neck pain, and it can be administered by chiropractors, physical therapists, osteopaths and other health care providers, according to the study.

But, there isn't much evidence for treating neck pain with spinal manipulation. There also isn't a great deal of information on how effective medications or home exercise programs are for treating neck pain, the researchers noted.

Bronfort and colleagues thought that spinal manipulat
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