Physical Therapy Determined Most Effective Option to Relieve the “Pain in Your Neck”

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BreakThrough Physical Therapy (BTPT) CEO Jeff Hathaway comments about importance of neck pain study.

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According to new research led by Gert Bronfort, vice president of research at the Wolfe-Harris Center for Clinical Studies at Northwestern Health Sciences University, physical therapy spinal manipulation and home exercise treatments are found to be more effective in alleviating neck pain than medication. The data also reveals that the test group receiving medications for their pain fared the worst of all three groups represented in the study. Prior to this study, there was very little research to support which treatment was the most effective.

“Even though this is a small study the findings are significant,” states CEO of BTPT Jeff Hathaway, PT, DPT. “Evidence now exists that strongly suggests physical therapy is a viable option to medication for treating neck pain; this is exciting news for patients who suffer from what can be a debilitating condition.”    

The study, funded by the National Institutes of Health, included 272 volunteers ranging in age from 18 to 65, who suffered from neck pain for 2-12 weeks. The volunteers were divided into three groups: group one receiving spinal manipulation treatment, group two receiving medications, and group three receiving home exercise advice. All groups received their assigned treatments for a period of 12 weeks.

At the twelfth week, both non-medication groups reported substantially more pain relief than the medication group. 32 percent of the group representing spinal manipulation treatments and 30 percent of the home exercise group reported feeling a 100 percent reduction in pain. During the same 12-week treatment period, only 13 percent of the medication group reported that their neck pain had been completely alleviated.    

Results of the study, published in Annals of Internal Medicine, also reported that up to one year later, the groups receiving 12 weeks of spinal manipulation or home exercise treatments still reported less pain compared to those who had taken medication.

“With the national issue of prescription drug abuse and addiction this is very welcoming news,” states Mr. Hathaway. “Now physicians can refer directly to a Physical Therapist or an individual can go directly to a Physical Therapist instead of risking the side effects of medicines, especially narcotics or painkillers.”

About BreakThrough Physical Therapy
BreakThrough Physical Therapy is a private physical therapy practice with five locations in Greensboro, Fayetteville, Morehead City, and Winston Salem, North Carolina. All BreakThrough Physical Therapists utilize the newest research to deliver the best results for patients as quickly as possible. BreakThrough Physical Therapists pride themselves in being experts in physical therapy, delivering hands-on treatment to achieve optimal results for patients suffering from sports related injuries, back pain, achy joints, wounded hands, and work injuries. For more information about BreakThrough, visit BreakThroughPTClinics.com.

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Erica Schrock

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