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Seven-Year Neck Pain Study Sheds Light on Best Care
Date:2/15/2008

e neck pain and affects their ability to carry on with daily activities says the Task Force.

A key recommendation of the Task Force is that neck pain, including whiplash-related pain, be classified and treated in a common system of 4 grades:

Grade 1: neck pain with little or no interference with daily activities

Grade 2: neck pain that limits daily activities

Grade 3: neck pain accompanied by radiculopathy ("pinched nerve" - pain weakness and/or numbness in the arm)

Grade 4: neck pain with serious pathology, such as tumor, fracture, infection, or systemic disease.

"The majority of neck pain falls into Grades 1 or 2," says Task Force member, Dr. Linda Carroll, Associate Professor, School of Public Health at the University of Alberta, and Associated Scientist, Alberta Centre for Injury Control and Research (ACICR). "Many sufferers manage to carry on with their daily activities. Others find their pain interferes with their ability to carry out daily chores, participate in favorite activities or be effective at work. For these people, the evidence shows there are a relatively small number of therapies that provide some relief for a while, but there is no one best option for everyone."

In addition to its comprehensive review of the existing body of research on neck pain, the Task Force also initiated a new study into the association between chiropractic care of the neck and stroke. This innovative piece of research found that patients who visit a chiropractor are no more likely to experience a stroke than are patients who visit their family physician. The study concludes that this type of stroke commonly begins with neck pain and/or headache which causes the patient to seek care from their chiropractor or family physician before the stroke fully develops.

"This type of stroke is extremely rare and has been known to occur spontaneously or after ordinary neck movements such as looking up at the sky or should
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SOURCE The Bone and Joint Decade Task Force on Neck Pain and ItsAssociated
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