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Neck Pain Clinical Guidelines

Hello again.  Welcome to Part Two of my ongoing series of blogs reporting the latest science has to offer in terms of helping direct patients and therapists towards best practice approaches to relieving aches and pains.  In part one, I presented the clinical guidelines for dealing with the incredibly common low back pain.  Part two presents the 2nd most common physical ailment: Neck Pain – both acute (<3months) and chronic (>3months).

For more background, re-read (or read for the first time) my forward in Part One.

Clinical Guidelines represent the best science currently has to offer us.  Researchers, therapists, and patients all contribute to the development of these guidelines.  They’re a serious business in the world of musculoskeletal medicine.

Acute Neck Pain

Acute neck pain is neck pain that has been present for less than 3 months.  The best treatment approach includes:

  • Cervical spine (neck) spinal manipulation combined with advice and exercise.  More info on neck manipulation can be found here – “Truth About Neck Manipulation”
  • If/when cervical spine manipulation is contraindicated, cervical spine mobilizations are a good alternative.  But, again, only when combined with exercise and advice.

As many of you have or will experience, acute neck pain is a real, well, “pain in the neck”.  With treatment it can last between 2 – 12 weeks.

Chronic Neck Pain

Without the right treatment approach, neck pain can linger and become chronic.  Chronic neck pain is pain that is present for more than 3 months.  The best treatment approach includes:

  • Cervical spine (neck) spinal manipulation as part of a multimodal treatment approach.
  • Multimodal Treatment Approach is a combination of the following:

*Massage is beneficial for short term results with chronic neck pain.  Important point here is that while soft tissue therapy (eg. massage, Graston Technique) is useful as part of a multimodal approach to chronic neck pain, it delivers short term results according to the research.  Long term benefits / results require the use of the multimodal approach: Neck spinal manipulation or mobilisations, upper thoracic spinal manipulation, exercise, advice, and other approaches like Low Level Laser Therapy.

Here’s the good news!  We at Satori Health & Wellness understand this scientific approach to treatment and are dedicated to getting you better as fast as possible.  We also understand that you have a preference for certain treatment modalities.  For example, many of my patients have experienced the benefits of spinal manipulation, while other Satori patients prefer osteopathic manual therapy or massage therapy (to name just a few).  Rest assured, we do not put the science ahead of your preference/values, but we will make the best recommendations so you have the facts.

Self prescribing a treatment plan is a very common approach to aches and pains.  Self prescription emphasizes personal preference without consideration of the guidelines.  The purpose of this series of blogs is to educate.  Know the science behind getting better.  After all, your health is your most valuable commodity and you spend good, hard-earned money to let us help you be healthy.  Let us help you get healthy efficiently.

This is my pledge: Get you better as fast as possible.  I will partner science with your personal preferences to achieve this goal. 


Questions about Neck Pain?  Back Pain?

Questions about Clinical Guidelines?

Just ask to speak with me, Dr. Michael Berenstein.  In fact, just request a FREE 15 minute consultation so we can discuss your treatment plan in order to get you better as fast as we can.


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