Practitioners Still Prescribing Medication Even Though They Only Mask the Pain

The above headline comes from an online article on November 2, 2010 on the news website AllVoices.com. The article points out that even though other types of care such as chiropractic are more effective, and medications have been shown to be relatively ineffective for patients with chronic neck pain, many medical doctors still rely on them in their primary treatments of suffering patients.

The AllVoices article references a study published in the November 2010 issue of the American College of Rheumatology’s journal, Arthritis Care & Research that documents the overutilization of diagnostic testing and narcotics, and the underutilization of what they termed “effective treatments” in the care of patients with chronic neck pain. The AllVoices article also references research published in the June 2010 issue of the Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine that shows that chiropractic was the number one alternative to medical care for back and neck pain patients.

In this study researchers from Duke University and the University of North Carolina reviewed data from a phone survey of 5,357 households in North Carolina. From this group the researchers identified 135 people with chronic neck problems. Lead researcher Adam Goode, PT, DPT, from the University of North Carolina commented on the number of people with chronic neck pain and the usage of drugs as treatments by saying, “Our sample population had a high degree of disability, despite using a number of diagnostics and treatments. Based on current evidence, several treatments were over-used, and some effective treatments were under-used.”

The articles covering this research noted that chiropractic was the most effective and most frequently used non-medical form of care for patients with neck and back problems. One of the articles in the October 28, 2010 Detroit Examiner, describes how chiropractic helps chronic neck pain by explaining, “Neck adjustments also called cervical manipulation is an exact procedure applied to joints of the neck and usually done by hand. These adjustments improve mobility to the spine and increase range of motion. It also increases movement in adjoining muscles. Patients usually note improved ability to turn neck and tilt head along with decreased pain, soreness and stiffness.”

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