Neck Pain Relief | Natural Health Blog

Date: 11/17/2015    Written by: Beth Levine

Drug-Free Neck Pain Relief

Neck Pain Relief | Natural Health Blog

Neck pain is the third most common form of chronic pain, and it affects more than 25 percent of Americans at some point, according to the American Osteopathic Association. It can be recurring for months or even years at a time and lead to headaches, insomnia, and quality of life issues. Unfortunately, most of the standard medical methods of treatment are simply not very effective. But now, there is some good news for those with neck pain. New research suggests that there are two natural techniques that may lessen the symptoms considerably.

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The study, which took place at the University of York in the United Kingdom, found that sessions of either acupuncture or Alexander Technique provide notable pain relief to patients suffering from chronic neck pain, and the results are long lasting.1 The subjects were 517 adults who had been experiencing neck pain for a minimum of three months, but most had dealt with it for significantly longer as the average duration of pain had been six years. They answered surveys that included rating their pain levels as the trial began and again after three months, six months, and one year.

The participants were randomly divided into three groups. One of the groups was provided with 12 50-minute sessions of acupuncture. A second group received 20 30-minute lessons in the Alexander Technique. The third group had a standard care regimen, treated as many patients presenting with neck pain would be with a prescription for a pain medication, physical therapy, and follow-up visits to the physician.

All of the methods of treatment were completed between four and five months after the investigation began. Interestingly, when the volunteers answered their questionnaires at the 12-month point, those in both the acupuncture and Alexander Technique groups reported maintaining a reduction in pain symptoms by more than 30 percent from the start of the study. What's more, most of them didn't even finish their allotted courses of treatment, with the acupuncture subjects attending an average of 10 of their 12 sessions and the Alexander Technique subjects attending a mere 14 of their lessons on average. Yet these methods were still more effective than a combination of pharmaceutical drugs and physical therapy.

Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese form of medical treatment based on balancing the body's energy flow through the insertion of very fine needles. Alexander Technique is a movement intervention that involves teaching patients ways to improve posture, reduce muscle tension, and increase coordination, which all contribute to a decrease in painful symptoms. Practitioners of both of these modalities are licensed and/or registered in many states; so to locate someone in your vicinity, you might want to start by checking out their respective associations.

While it is possible that some of the benefits experienced by the study participants were due to a placebo effect gained simply from doing something to take charge of their pain, the fact that the results were maintained months after the treatments were completed suggests that these methods offered true benefits. Since poor posture such as leaning forward or hanging the head down toward the chest (a major problem as this is a natural position for looking at our smart phones!) and muscle strain are contributors to chronic neck pain in many patients, it would appear that both acupuncture and Alexander Technique can--in their own distinct ways--relax the muscles of the neck and improve posture and habits enough to help those experiencing this problem find relief.

Even better, not a single volunteer in either the acupuncture or Alexander Technique group had any serious adverse events related to their treatment since these are both safe, natural methods. In contrast, when you take pharmaceutical pain relievers or muscle relaxants, you are at risk for side effects that include drowsiness, nausea, dizziness, and the potential for addiction. So if you've been dealing with neck pain that hasn't resolved after a few weeks, stop hoping it will go away and give acupuncture or the Alexander Technique a try.

And it should be noted that this study did not include either chiropractic2 or herbal deep tissue oils, both of which have proven efficacy.

  • 1. MacPherson, Hugh; et al. "Alexander Technique Lessons or Acupuncture Sessions for Persons With Chronic Neck Pain: A Randomized Trial." Annals of Internal Medicine. 3 November 2015. Accessed 8 November 2015. http://annals.org/article.aspx?articleid=2467961
  • 2. Langenfeld A, Humphreys BK, Swanenburg J, Peterson CK. "Prognostic Factors for Recurrences in Neck Pain Patients Up to 1 Year After Chiropractic Care." J Manipulative Physiol Ther. 2015 Sep;38(7):458-64. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26385743
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Comments

  •  
    Submitted by Jay Rossi on
    December 5, 2015 - 11:19pm
    San Souci, NSW Australia ,

    Hi,

    I had an accident in the shower by slipping on liquid soap and hitting my head on the shower tiles as I fell. The MRI scans show that I have damaged my neck discs C4 and C5. I am on pain killers at the moment because the Specialist advised that nothing will ever help me. The pain is excrutiating at night when I sleep and try to turn my neck. Can you help me?

  •  
    Submitted by Dr.P.K.Chhetri on
    December 6, 2015 - 9:57am

    Though simple neck exercise may help reduce pain, yet if we could support it with some harmless bio-chemic remedies to accelerate healing process, it will hasten the healing process. In my practice, I have found when body fails to correct deficiency of calcium and sodium, then biochemic remedies easily correct the deficiency.Calcium becomes deficient with age as well as gradually body also becomes deficient in sodium. Normal intake of sodium does not usually compensate sodium deficiency in the body, which can be detected by the sound of cracking joints. Deficiency in sodium cause dryness in joints, which hastens joint pain, similarly neck is also comprised of many joints.
    Not only neck pain, but any kind of joint pain can be relieved by the following bio-chemic remedies, which I usually prescribe to my patients:
    Clacarea Phosphoricum 3X in potency and Natrum Muriaticum 3X also in potency, if 4 tablets of each taken thrice daily, then in course of time pain will gradually subside. These remedies also help immensely menopausal women, whose body gradually fails to absorb normal calcium from food. No other crude calcium supplements will help such women to retard their process of osteoporosis.
    Even with these remedies, I have cured many cases of Hypo-thyroid cases, in which also body fails to assimilate calcium in the system due to deficiency of iodine.These remedies, I tried out at first on myself to study their effects and found immensely beneficial, then I prescribed to my patients.

  •  
    Submitted by Anonymous on
    December 15, 2015 - 11:49pm
    Burbank , California

    Pain problems might appear anywhere on the body which cause several discomforts. There are different types of pain relievers that are available in the markets today for improving pain conditions effectively. However, some products might result in side effects which affect their normal life. Health care experts today recommend certain types of natural Herbs For Pain Relief to patients for living a healthy life.

  •  
    Submitted by Dr.P.K.Chhetri on
    December 17, 2015 - 5:39am

    No pain killer helps in the long run, because it is not a treatment at all, moreover, every pain killer has little or more side effects!

  •  
    Submitted by cervical pillow on
    April 22, 2016 - 4:05am
    mumbai ,

    The cervical pillow helps you to reduce any kind of pain in the neck or back..it is really very useful and effective..It makes us feel comfortable again . :)

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