"This study shows that basically neck pain will get better on its own," said Dr. Victor Khabie, chief of the departments of surgery and sports medicine at Northern Westchester Hospital in Mount Kisco, N.Y. "It would've been good if they had a no-treatment group, too," he added.
"Everyone heals differently. There are different pathways to healing, and whether you feel you're better off with chiropractic, home exercises or medications, this study shows that all three are basically just as effective. Whatever your pathway to healing, in about six to eight weeks, you should start to feel better," said Khabie.
He also noted that it's important for anyone receiving spinal manipulation to know that there are rare, but serious risks that can occur with neck manipulations.
All three experts said anyone experiencing neck pain needs to have it evaluated to make sure there isn't a serious or correctable cause of the pain. This is especially true if you've been in a car accident, or if you have any neurological symptoms, such as repeatedly dropping things, or if you have pain radiating down your arm.
Learn more about neck pain, its causes and treatment from the U.S. National Library of Medicine.
SOURCES: Gert Bronfort, D.C., Ph.D., vice president and professor, research, Wolfe-Harris Center for Clinical Studies, Northwestern Health Sciences University, Bloomington, Minn.; Robert Glatter, M.D., attending physician, emergency medicine, Lenox Hill Hospital, New York City; Victor Khabie, M.D., co-director, Orthopedic and Spine Institute, and chief, surgery, and chief, sports medicine, Northern Westchester Hospital, Mt. Kisco, N.Y.; Jan. 3, 2012, Annals of Internal Medi
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