The C.A.M. Report
Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Fair, Balanced, and to the Point
  • About this web log

    This blog is intended as an objective and dispassionate source of information on the latest CAM research. Since my background is in pharmacy and allopathic medicine, I view all CAM as advancing through the development pipeline to eventually become integrated into mainstream medical practice. Some will succeed while others fail. But all are treated fairly here.

  • About the author

    John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at www.Vicus.com, a complementary and alternative medicine website.

  • Common sense considerations

    The material on this weblog is for informational purposes. It is not medical advice or counsel. Be smart, consult your health professional before using CAM.

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Best treatments for neck pain

The findings come from a report by the Task Force on Neck Pain and Its Associated Disorders, sanctioned by the United Nations and the World Health Organization.

Here’s a summary of their conclusions regarding noninvasive treatments. It’s based on a review of the medical literature.

Treatments for neck pain

  • Some nonsurgical treatments are better than usual care, sham, or alternative treatments.
  • No active treatment is clearly superior to another.
  • Educational videos, mobilization, manual therapy (chiropractic), exercises, low-level laser therapy, and perhaps acupuncture are beneficial.
  • For whiplash and other neck pain that doesn’t radiate along a nerve, treatments that focus on regaining function and returning to work as soon as possible are more effective than treatments that do not.

Safety

  • There’s an association between chiropractic services and subsequent vertebrobasilar artery stroke in persons under 45 years of age.
  • A similar association is observed among patients receiving general practitioner services.
  • The presence of vertebrobasilar artery dissection-related neck pain or headache before seeking care probably explain this association.

The bottom line?
The committee concluded, “Manual therapy and exercise are more effective than alternative strategies for patients with neck pain; this was also true of therapies which include educational interventions addressing self-efficacy.”

My bottom line is that this report doesn’t help much in sorting out the best from runner-up treatments for neck pain.
2/12/08 10:35 JR

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