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Outcome Predictions with Chiropractic Care and Cervical Pain
When considering solutions to the neck pain, you must look at what will help you and how long will it take to get better and like any malady, the progression should be drugless first, drugs second and surgery last.
"Neck pain is commonly associated with dull aching. Sometimes pain in the neck is worsened with movement of the neck. Other symptoms associated with some forms of neck pain include numbness, tingling, tenderness, sharp shooting pain, fullness, difficulty swallowing, pulsations, swishing sounds in the head, dizziness or lightheadedness, and gland swelling.
There are seven vertebrae that are the bony building blocks of the spine in the neck (the cervical vertebrae) that surround the spinal cord and canal. Between these vertebrae are discs, and nearby pass the nerves of the neck."
"Incredibly, the cervical spine supports the full weight of your head, which is on average about 12 pounds. While the cervical spine can move your head in nearly every direction, this flexibility makes the neck very susceptible to pain and injury.
The neck’s susceptibility to injury is due in part to biomechanics. Activities and events that affect cervical biomechanics include extended sitting, repetitive movement, accidents, falls and blows to the body or head, normal aging, and everyday wear and tear."
Further detailed explanations of some of the causes of neck pain are:
Injury and Accidents: A sudden forced movement of the head or neck in any direction and the resulting "rebound" in the opposite direction is known as whiplash. The sudden "whipping" motion injures the surrounding and supporting tissues of the neck and head. Muscles react by tightening and contracting, creating muscle fatigue, which can result in pain and stiffness. Severe whiplash can also be associated with injury to the intervertebral joints, discs, ligaments, muscles, and nerve roots. Car accidents are the most common cause of whiplash.
Growing Older: Degenerative disorders such as osteoarthritis, spinal stenosis, and degenerative disc disease directly affect the spine.
• Osteoarthritis, a common joint disorder, causes progressive deterioration of cartilage. The body reacts by forming bone spurs that affect joint motion.
• Spinal stenosis causes the small nerve passageways in the vertebrae to narrow, compressing and trapping nerve roots. Stenosis may cause neck, shoulder, and arm pain, as well as numbness, when these nerves are unable to function normally.
• Degenerative disc disease can cause reduction in the elasticity and height of intervertebral discs. Over time, a disc may bulge or herniate, causing tingling, numbness, and pain that runs into the arm.
Daily Life: Poor posture, obesity, and weak abdominal muscles often disrupt spinal balance, causing the neck to bend forward to compensate. Stress and emotional tension can cause muscles to tighten and contract, resulting in pain and stiffness. Postural stress can contribute to chronic neck pain with symptoms extending into the upper back and the arms."
When considering solutions to the neck pain, you must look at what will help you and how long will it take to get better and like any malady, the progression should be drugless first, drugs second and surgery last. A significant factor must be the scientific evidence that will predict the outcomes of any treatment. A cancer patient or a heart disease patient prior to undergoing chemotherapy or open heart surgery will ask the doctor, what is the percentage of success of the treatment. The same question should be asked of every doctor for every treatment and chiropractic is no different.
In 2008, Thiel and Bolton studied 19,722 patients that were treated for neck pain, receiving chiropractic care. The purpose of the study was to determine the outcome of chiropractic care with patients with neck pain. The results revealed that 71.6% of females and 67.9 % of males had immediate improvement. This shouldn’t be confused with the overall satisfaction rate of 94% of patients treated with acute neck pain as this study was for the immediate improvement, not improvement over time as the acute study revealed. This reference is for those patients that felt "IMMEDIATE IMPROVEMENT."
Since statistics can be manipulated in many different ways, let’s examine those patients who experienced immediate worsening. The Thiel and Bolton 2008 study revealed that 95.2% of females and 96.2% of males reported no immediate worsening rendering an overwhelming predictor of a successful outcome.
Predictable outcomes are critical in guiding both the public and the doctor in realizing a successful treatment plan.
These studies, along with many others conclude that a drug-free approach of chiropractic care is one of the best solutions to treat neck pain. Before taking your next prescription or non-prescription pain medicine consider using a conservative trial of chiropractic therapy. This unlike medicine has long lasting positive physical effects which will help prevent future episodes of neck pain from occurring. Call Dr. Anthony Rivano to set-up an appointment for a thorough evaluation for your neck pain today. He is Florham Park’s leading chiropractic authority on the subject. He can be reached at (973) 845-6282 or feel free to email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Reprinted from the US Chiropractic Directory (www.USChiroDirectory.com)
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