Physicians, now more than ever are recommending conservative treatment including manual therapy, acupuncture, education and exercise as part of a multi-modal approach for patients suffering from neck pain (Busse et al. 2017, Kjaer et al. 2017)
Types of Neck Pain
Proper assessment help identify who is most likely to benefit from conservative treatments. Recent clinical guidelines published in the JOSPT suggest that patients with neck pain fall into 1 of 4 groups (Blandpied et al. 2017):
• neck pain with limited motion
• neck pain associated with whiplash
• headaches related to neck pain
• neck and nerve-related pain into the arm (also known as radicular pain).
Conservative Care Options for Neck Pain
Massage Therapy and Neck Pain - For those who suffer from neck pain, massage therapy has been shown to be a safe, effective non-pharmacological therapeutic intervention that is simple to carry out, economical, and has very few side effects (Brosseau et al. 2012, Bussières et al. 2016, Côté et al. 2016, Nahin et al. 2016, Sutton et al. 2016, Wong et al. 2016, van der Velde et al. 2016).
Acupuncture and Neck Pain - There is quite a bit of research suggesting that acupuncture/electro-acupuncture has therapeutic benefit for neck pain (Blanpied et al. 2017, Cerezo-Téllez et al. 2016, Gerber et al. 2017, Kjaer et al. 2017).
Talk to your local physicians about conservative treatment options
Massage therapists are uniquely suited to incorporate a number management strategies (exercise, education, acupuncture and manual therapy) to help decrease neck pain and increase function. Proper assessment and referrals are important to identify who is most likely to benefit from conservative treatments.
Burnaby Massage Therapy Clinic June 2017