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If you have neck pain and want relief fast, you should read this article.

Manual therapy speeds recovery from neck pain

For patients with neck pain, manual therapy yields faster recovery than general practitioner treatment or physical therapy, reports a randomized trial in the May issue of The Clinical Journal of Pain.

The study included 183 patients visiting their general practitioner for treatment of nonspecific neck pain lasting 2 weeks or longer. One group was assigned to receive 6 weeks of once-weekly manual therapy, mainly spinal mobilization designed to treat segmental movement dysfunction. Treatments were delivered by physical therapists specializing in manual therapy. Another group received twice-weekly physical therapy consisting mainly of exercise therapy; the third group were followed up by their general practitioner every 2 weeks. Outcome assessments included perceived recovery, physical functioning, pain scores, and disability.

This randomized trial suggests that manual therapy provides faster recovery for patients with neck pain, compared with general practitioner follow-up. The short-term results of physical therapy are intermediate between the two. The differences between treatments narrow over time, being nonsignificant at 1-year follow-up.

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