I meet so many people who have resigned themselves to live in pain because they feel it is normal.   A survey performed by the American Osteopathic Association estimates almost half of Americans feel that pain is just a part of life.  41% of Americans think that pain is just part of the aging process (2).  It is estimated that 70% of us will suffer from mechanical neck pain at some point in our lives (1).


neck pain study

Acute Neck Pain Study

A study was published in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine in 2012 comparing the use of medication, cervical (neck) adjusting, and home exercise.


The researchers found 272 people aged 18 to 65 years who had neck pain for 2 to 12 weeks.  They then randomly split the people into 3 groups.

  1. Medication
  2. Spinal manipulative therapy (neck adjustments)
  3. Home exercises

The researchers documented the person’s pain and function at 2, 4, 8, 12, 26, and 52 weeks.


“For pain, [neck adjustments] had a statistically significant advantage over medication after 8, 12, 26, and 52 weeks, and [the home exercises] was superior to medication at 26 weeks.”

The Bottom Line

Neck pain is something most of us will deal with at some point in our lives.  Most of us will just push through the pain and continue going to work and doing normal things (3).  It just hurts. A chiropractic neck adjustment can help get you out of pain faster than the pain pill.  The chiropractic adjustment doesn’t have a list of bad side effects either.  Short term and long term results were better than the medication.

check engineTaking medication for neck pain is like putting a piece of duct tape over the check engine light of your car.  The problem hasn’t gone away.  The engine isn’t somehow magically fixed because you can’t see the light anymore.  The same goes for your body.  The pain pill will mask the pain.  The pain is gone, you feel like a zombie, but the problem is still there.  A chiropractor can fix the source of the pain.  Please, consider chiropractic next time you reach for the pain meds.


  1. Bronfort G, Evans R, Anderson AV, Svendsen KH, Bracha Y, Grimm RH (2012). Spinal manipulation, medication, or home exercise with advice for acute and subacute neck pain: a randomized trial. Annals of Internal Medicine. Accessed at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22213489 
  2. American Osteopathic Association. Chronic Neck Pain. 
  3. The American Academy of Pain Medicine. AAPM Facts and Figures on Pain.