The Bone and Joint Decade 2000-2010 Task Force on Neck Pain has issued some of their key findings in the peer-reviewed journal Spine. The work of a multidisciplinary team of researchers and clinicians led by Task Force President Scott Haldeman, MD, Phd, DC, the task force concluded that neck pain is common, typically has no single cause or one single effective treatment. They stated that chiropractic treatment is as safe as any treatment offered by primary-care medical doctors.
The task force found that neck pain should be classified into four grades. Grade 1 (pain that causes little or no interference with daily activities); Grade 2 (pain that limits daily activities); Grade 3 (pain accompanied by radiculopathy); and Grade 4 (pain with serious pathology, such as tumor, fracture, infection, or systemic disease). Grade 4 was beyond the mandate of the task force to study.
Grades 1 or 2 neck pain can benefit from a variety of treatments including: education, exercise, mobilization, manipulation, acupuncture, analgesics, massage, and low-level laser therapy.
No ‘best’ treatment exists. A variety or combination of therapies, according to what the patient wants is ideal. The task force also concluded that risk of vertebrobasilar (VBA) stroke associated with a visit to a chiropractor appears to be no different from the risk of stroke following a visit to an MD’s office.
Very useful data to be produced from one task force publication. We are pleased that not only is one of our primary methods of treatment, spinal manipulation, validated in this report, but also the use of cold laser therapy has validity in this study.