Chiropractic Better Than Home Exercises and Drugs for Neck Pain

A recent study published in the prestigious Annals of Internal Medicine has found spinal adjustments are more effective than home exercises and far more effective than pain medication for the treatment of neck pain.

After 12 weeks of treatment, 57 percent of the chiropractic group reported at least a 75 percent reduction in neck pain compared to 48 percent of people in the exercise group and 33 percent in the medication group.

The long-term benefits were equally impressive.  One year later, approximately 53 percent of the chiropractic group still maintained at least a 75 percent reduction in pain compared to only 38 percent of people taking painkillers.  Besides being less effective, the painkiller group was also increasing their medication over time, which can lead to more serious side effects.

This is not the first study to show spinal adjustments are more effective and several hundred times safer for neck pain than pain medications, such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (Advil, Alleve, Aspirin,etc.). 

Editor’s Note:  Pain relievers are becoming well-known for their dangerous side effects, such as ulcers, gastrointestinal bleeding, heart problems, liver failure (cirrhosis) and kidney failure.  These side effects are responsible for 106,000 deaths every year.  Pain is not the problem.  Pain is a signal that there is a problem.  Covering up the signal with medication may provide some short-term pain relief, but it does not fix the problem.  There can be a number of reasons why a person has pain, but from a chiropractic perspective, spinal alignment is a major factor in most cases.  The reason why these types of studies find spinal adjustments far superior to medications is likely due to the fact that adjustments can improve spinal alignment, thus fixing the problem and not merely covering up the (pain) signal. 

Our Recommendation:  Have your spinal alignment checked by a chiropractor for the most effective treatment for pain and better health.


Bronfort G, et al. Spinal Manipulation, Medication, or Home Exercise With Advice for Acute and Subacute Neck Pain: A Randomized Trial.  Ann Int Med 2012; 156:1; 1-10.