It is no secret to anyone who knows me that I get injured… a lot. As a sufferer of everything from neck and shoulder to hip pain I found a new study to be quite encouraging. A study that was published in The Annals of Internal Medicineproves that exercise and chiropractic care are more effective in treating neck pain that pain killers. Although exercise is more difficult and chiropractic care more time consuming than taking a pill for pain its is clear that both are better for your body, and your pain level.
Dr. Gert Bronfor who is the author of the study works as a research professor at Northwestern Health Sciences University in Minnesota got 272 people to participate in his study. He took those people and split them into three groups, the first group went to chiropractors about 15 times in the three month span of the study for sessions lasting approximately 20 minutes. The second group went to two physical therapy meetings and got a list of exercises to do at home (5-10 reps up to eight times a day). The final group was told to take common painkillers, and if a doctor said it was necessary stronger narcotics and muscle relaxants. At the end of the three month study 57% of people who visited the chiropractors and 48% of people who did the exercises reported feeling at least a 75% improvement while only 33% of people in the medicated group reported a 75% reduction in pain.
The study doesn’t end there Dr.Bronfor checked back in a year later and found that 53% of subjects who had chiropractic care, and about the same amount who did exercises, reported a 75% improvement in neck pain. Only 38% of those who had been taking pain medicine reported feeling 75% better a year later, and most of the participants who had begun to use the pain killers had continued to use them and had increased the dosage and the frequency that they took the pain killers. This alone lead to the participants having to deal with problems, as the side effects of the pain killers can cause a slew of issues all their own. So now that you’ve read about the study next time you have a neck ache will you call the chiropractor or reach for that bottle of painkillers?