A report on the scientific literature
Mark Studin DC, FASBE (C), DAAPM, DAAMLP
William J. Owens DC, DAAMLP
"Acute neck pain means immediate neck pain. Neck pain that just started. This type of pain comes on suddenly and affects the ability to properly move your head in its proper range of motion. One serious type of acute neck pain is whiplash - the sudden jarring motion of your head going backwards and forward. This often occurs with a rear end collision. Acute neck pain can also be the result of a fall, sleeping awkwardly, a trauma or even a fall.. Often times when someone has just strained or irritated their neck in some way the pain is most severe. There is usually inflammation, immobility, and muscle tenderness. Often with acute neck pain, the muscles or ligaments are involved" (The Neck Pain Relief Shop, n.d., http://www.neckpainreliefkit.com/acuteneckpain).
The “real life” issue for the patient who either wakes up with this debilitating pain or is in an accident that causes it, is that taking drugs without narcotics is insufficient for relieving the pain. With the narcotics, one can be severely hampered and may not be able to go about his/her life. It is often a double-edged sword; take strong drugs and compromise your life or don't take drugs, receive no chiropractic care and suffer.
A 2006 study examined "...the extent to which a group of patients with acute neck pain managed with chiropractic [adjustments]...and the degree to which they were subsequently satisfied...A total of 115 patients were contacted, of whom 94 became study participants, resulting in 60 women (64%) and 34 men. The mean age was 39.6 years...The mean number of visits was 24.5...Pain levels improved significantly from a mean of 7.6...before treatment to 1.9...after treatment...The overall patient satisfaction rate was 94%" (Haneline, 2006, p. 288).
"There were reductions in disability recorded during the study that were statistically significant. Approximately 84% of the patients related that their activities were restricted before chiropractic treatment because of their neck pain, whereas only 25% still had activity restrictions at the time of the interview. Furthermore, 57% of those with physical restrictions described their disabilities as moderately severe or greater before treatment, whereas at the time of the interview, just 12% did (Haneline, 2006, p. 294).
"When comparing trauma with no-trauma cases, Trauma cases received more than 3 times as many visits. This difference may be related to tissue damage that often accompanies trauma, which, many times, heals imperfectly. In addition, patients with this type of problem may have ensuing long-term pain and physical impairment, which further shows that trauma complicates the recovery of acute neck pain (Haneline, 2006, p. 294).
This study along with many others concludes that a drug-free approach of chiropractic care is one of the best solutions to acute neck pain and returning to a normal life. To find a qualified doctor of chiropractic near you go to the US Chiropractic Directory at www.USChiroDirectory.com and search your state.
1. The Neck Pain Relief Shop. (n.d.). Acute neck pain.Retrieved from http://www.neckpainreliefkit.com/acuteneckpain
2. Haneline, M. T. (2006). Symptomatic outcomes and perceived satisfaction levels of chiropractic patients with a primary diagnosis involving acute neck pain. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, 29(4), 288-296.