Exercise Better Than Drugs for Neck Pain

August 29, 2018

Neck pain commonly affects many of us causing significant morbidity and loss of productivity.  The causes of neck pain are many but include neck strain, cervical spine arthritis, and disc herniations.  Treatment options for many of these conditions include rest, anti-inflammatory medications, therapy, and in severe instances (for certain conditions only) surgery.

While medications can help minimize the pain and inflammation associated with neck pain, there are also side effects that need consideration.  Anti-inflammatory medications can cause upset stomachs and injury to the kidneys if not monitored, and more potent pain relievers such as narcotic medications can lead to dependence.  So, minimizing the exposure to these drugs may be prudent.

In an interesting study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, researchers demonstrated that in a group of patients with neck pain, exercise therapy and visits to the chiropractor without drugs were more effective that the groups treated with medications alone.  Off course certain cervical spine conditions may necessitate more aggressive treatments so please consult with your medical professional.  While there are still many things that we can learn about optimizing treatment for neck pain, this study is one of many that highlights the benefits of a stretching and strengthening program to stabilize the cervical spine.

SimpleTherapy offers a variety of exercises for your aching neck designed to improve strength and flexibility of your cervical spine.

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