Does Manual Therapy and Exercise Help Neck Pain?

Neck pain is very widespread, but the good news is that extreme illness is not the source of most neck pain. “Mechanical neck pain” is the name used by healthcare professionals when problems with joints and muscles result in neck pain. Current research indicates that, for patients with mechanical neck pain, a combination of manual therapy and exercise is successful. To try to minimize neck pain, a number of manual therapies for the neck and upper back are currently used. These treatments include mobilization that pushes the neck joints and muscles slowly and repeatedly and manipulation that gives the joints and muscles a single, small, rapid movement.

New Insights

Researchers treated 64 patients in this study. Both patients were prescribed mobility exercises and had their necks mobilized. Approximately half of these patients have received upper back manipulation. After 1 week, patients doing the exercise and undergoing both neck mobilization and upper back manipulation noted greater relief from their pain in the neck. 75 percent had substantial pain relief in the population undergoing all manual therapy methods and 70 percent witnessed considerable change in their ability to perform everyday activities.

Just 19 percent found that their suffering was decreased when patients only received neck mobilization, and only 23 percent saw an increase in their impairment. The researchers concluded that in the first week of therapy, combining exercise with neck mobilization and upper back manipulation was more effective in reducing pain.

Practical Advice

A physical therapy program that involves exercises paired with neck mobilization and upper back manipulation will help patients with normal neck pain. Less discomfort and increased capacity to perform everyday tasks include potential benefits. While this therapy has been very popular in this group of neck pain patients, it may not be efficient or suitable for all neck pain patients.

An assessment can be performed by your physical therapist to help decide whether you are a suitable candidate for this treatment. The effects were only calculated for the first week after treatment in this study, so further research is needed to find out the interventions are best for the long term. Contact a physical therapist specializing in musculoskeletal conditions for more information on the treatment of neck pain.

Are You in Need of Manual Therapy for Your Pain?

Manual therapies from Schemata Bodywork helps people who are active or desire to be active. Who can benefit from a sports massage from Schemata Bodywork? Individuals who have careers that are restricted to working at a desk, all athletes that are looking to improve their performance or physical gains, people who have community service jobs such as firefighters, law enforcement, or military personnel. If you are suffering from injuries with acute or chronic pain, or someone who wants relief from mental or physical stress, we can help change your life. Contact us now for your appointment.