Neck pain is very common in people who spend the majority of their day sitting in front of a computer doing repetitive motions, which is what most of the work force does in the Financial District.
There are 3 basic types of neck pain:
- New and acute neck pain.
- Chronic neck pain (over 90 days duration).
- Repetitive Stress Injury (builds-up silently over time).
While most of the new patients we see for neck pain report that their neck pain is new, it turns out that the problem has been building up silently under the surface due to things like poor ergonomics, stress (tenses neck muscles), poor sleeping habits (lack of cervical pillow), inadequate breaks at work (it’s best to take frequent stretch breaks), poor posture.
Sure, you can be using a cervical pillow, taking micro-breaks at work, meditating, and have a perfect workstation set-up and still get neck pain, but the odds are greatly reduced when these things are in place.
So what’s the best treatment for neck pain?
Well, according to research, chiropractic and low tech exercises (the kind chiropractors show you) is much more effective than OTC medications or physical therapy. It’s much more cost effective and takes less time as well. Here is an excerpt from Chiro-Trust.org entitled Chiropractic & Exercise vs. OTC Medication for Neck Pain:
However, this new research clearly supports that seeing a chiropractor and/or engaging in light exercise can bring neck pain relief more effectively than relying on pain medications! Researchers even found that the benefits of chiropractic adjustments were still favored A YEAR LATER when comparing the differences between the spinal manipulation and medication treated groups! Moderate acute neck pain is one of the most frequent complaints prompting appointments at primary care/medical clinics and is estimated to account for millions of doctor visits per year. In some cases, pain and stiffness occurs without a known cause and there is no “standard” medical treatment. Though physical therapy, pain medication, and chiropractic have all been utilized for neck pain, until now no one had compared the benefits of each in a single study.
The study consisted of 272 neck pain subjects split up into three groups: 1) Chiropractic group (approximately 20-minute treatments an average of 15 times); 2) Pain medication group (meds included acetaminophen, and in some cases stronger prescription meds including narcotics and muscle relaxants); 3) Physical Therapy group (consisting of meeting twice and receiving advice and exercise instruction at 5-10 repetitions up to eight times a day).
At the end of three months, the chiropractic and exercise group did significantly better than those who took drugs. Approximately 57% of those receiving chiropractic management and 48% of those who did the exercises reported at least 75% reduction in pain vs. 33% of people in the medication group. A year after the treatment period ended, the numbers decreased to 53% in the chiropractic and exercise groups, compared to 38% in pain medication group. The chiropractic group received the highest scores in patient satisfaction at all time points. An interesting downside noted in the medication study group was that the subjects had to use a progressively greater amount of medication at a progressively increased frequency to manage their pain. Stomach trouble is the most common side effect of NSAIDs (leading to ulcers) as well as liver and kidney problems. Another interesting finding was that the subjects in the medication treated group felt less empowered, less active, and less in control over their own condition compared with those in the other two groups.
Bottom Line: Your best bet for neck pain relief in San Francisco or anywhere for that matter is chiropractic. Not only can your chiropractor provide your with the low tech exercises that are research proven to reduce neck pain, they can also help you get a cervical pillow, proper ergonomic set-up, and any thing else you may need to help your body adapt to modern day living and working.
We have two chiropractic clinics in San Francisco to serve you. For neck pain relief in San Francisco please call 415-392-2225. We validate parking at the Embarcadero Center.