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27 Treatments for Neck Pain: Live Patient Study

For the live-updated, interactive version of this infographic, click here.

Neck pain affects 15% of Americans, according to a report by the American Pain Foundation. Interestingly, the same report mentions that less than 2% of the NIH research budget is dedicated to pain.

At CureTogether, 2,180 people with neck pain came together to do their own research on the comparative effectiveness of 27 different treatments. Here are the current results of this ongoing study.

Patients rate Myofascial release, Yoga, and Massage as the most effective treatments for their neck pain (see the top points on the chart above.)

The treatments that help the least, at the bottom of the chart, are: Soft collar, Tempurpedic pillow, and Corticosteroid injections.

As in many of our other studies, it is non-drug treatments that are rated most highly among patients.

The rest of the results are in the graph above, which is divided into four squares…

- Top right: the most popular and effective treatments (including massage and chiropractic)

- Top left: effective treatments that not many people have tried, so they may be options to think about (including myofascial release and yoga)

- Lower right: very popular but not very effective (including exercise and acetaminophen)

- Lower left: neither popular nor effective (including soft collar and corticosteroid injections)

Where did this data come from? This is the result of a 3-year CureTogether study on Neck PainTo thank everyone for participating, we’re publishing this study openly and freely.

This is part of our regular series of research findings. Of course, with each of these findings, there is a potential bias in patient self-selection and recall. Every research study has some bias, so we present these findings as just what they are – patient-reported data – to stimulate discussion and generate new insights for further research.

Please tweet, blog, or pass this along to anyone who can benefit or is interested in neck pain. Thank you!


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3 Responses to “27 Treatments for Neck Pain: Live Patient Study”

  1. Very outstanding website.The info here is really important.
    I will share it with my friends.keep up the good work.keep it up.

  2. Marti Murphy Says:

    I have found good results with a topical cream called “LivRelief”. I order it online from Canada, and it is 29.95 Amer. for a “not very big” bottle. Because of the expense, I only use it on my neck, especially at bedtime, and on my arthritic knees, but it seems to work very well! I also ask my husband to massage my neck and shoulders every night and morning. —–it WORKS!!!!!

  3. As a chiropractor, myself, I would typically use several of these techniques in my office to maximize the effectiveness. It would depend on the cause of neck pain as there are many different etiologies. Not all chiropractors are the same, however, most would treat neck pain as a musculoskeletal condition and use myofascial release/massage (which is slightly different than myofascial release in that it is usually lighter and myofascial release, more aggressive), as well as physiotherapy, and stretching in addition to chiropractic manipulation. I would not be opposed to Ibuprofen use short term, but it does not cure the pain, but minimizes symptoms while you recover.

    Neck pain cannot be lumped into just pain, but the cause of neck pain must be differentiated to determine whether it is acute, chronic, traumatic, inflammatory, pathological or a combination of several causes.

    If you would like further information, please check my website, More articles like this on my site. William M. Thomas, D.C

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