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Manual therapy includes:
Chiropractors, osteopathic doctors, massage therapists, and physical therapists sometimes use manual treatment.
Manual therapy is sometimes used for neck pain. A review of multiple studies shows that exercise and mobilization, either separate or used together, are likely to be helpful in the treatment of nonspecific neck pain. (Pain is "nonspecific" when its cause isn't clear.) A combination of exercise and manual therapy is likely to work the best.footnote 1 And manual therapy may be better than medicine for relieving nonspecific neck pain.footnote 2
Manipulation is not recommended if you have nerve-related problems that are very severe or getting worse.
Before you try manual therapy for neck pain, think about the following:
Do your research. Not all manual therapy is the same. And there isn't a good way to tell what will be helpful and what won't. If you decide to try it, talk to a couple of different manual therapy providers before you choose and get treated by one.
CitationsBhagawati D, Gwilym S (2015). Neck pain with radiculopathy. BMJ Clinical Evidence. http://clinicalevidence.bmj.com/x/systematic-review/1103/overview.html. Accessed March 1, 2016.Bronfort G, et al. (2012). Spinal manipulation, medication, or home exercise with advice for acute and subacute neck pain: A randomized trial. Annals of Internal Medicine, 156(1, Part 1): 1-10.
ByHealthwise StaffPrimary Medical ReviewerWilliam H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency MedicineE. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal MedicineAdam Husney, MD - Family MedicineKathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Current as ofMarch 21, 2017
Current as of: March 21, 2017
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review: William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine & E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
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