What is your experience with neck pain treatment? Has it cured your pain? In most cases, the answer is no. Why does neck pain continue despite active treatment? These are all extremely important questions to consider and the answers should guide your future therapy endeavors.
Chronic neck pain is the second most common type of back pain condition, beaten only by the literal army of people suffering from persistent lower back pain. The neck is one of the most important areas of the body and statistics show that neck pain is actually on the rise disproportionate to other chronic pain concerns. Neck pain might just take the lead as the most common chronic pain problem in the near future if this trend continues…
This dialog explores the failings of neck pain treatment. We will discuss the options presented to most patients and explain their pros and cons so that every patient has a better chance of finding a cure, rather than enduring the burden of chronic suffering.
Neck Pain Treatment Indications
Treatment is provided for neck pain that is severe or persistent. Typically, treatment is not necessary for minor aches and pain in the neck related to soft tissue injuries, overuse and “sleeping in a weird position”. These issues will self-correct in virtually every case.
When pain is severe, treatment is provided primarily for humanitarian purposes until a diagnosis of the cause of pain can be made and possibly treated. This type of treatment will consist of oral route or injected drugs. These drugs work very well to reduce pain, but do so at great collateral cost to health and wellness. In essence, these drugs are toxic and the longer they are utilized, the greater the risks to the patient.
For chronic neck pain, treatment might also consist of drugs, with the possible addition of other types of pain management, such a chiropractic, massage and acupuncture. Most patients will not find lasting relief and will be steered towards more dramatic interventions as their pain persists.
Conservative care is virtually always symptomatic in nature. This means that the therapy is noninvasive, but will not provide a cure. It is not even intended to cure. Instead, it simply makes the symptoms of whatever condition is causing pain more manageable. This type of care is poor medicine and bad science, compared to curative care. We have been warning patients about the dangers of symptomatic care for many years already, likening the philosophy of symptom-targeting care to slavery. It sounds harsh, but it is 100% true.
Moderate care may or may not cure, depending on the underlying causation. Moderate care consists of minimally invasive types of treatment, such as minor surgeries and injections, as well as expensive and time consuming practices like nonsurgical spinal decompression. We discourage pain management injections, since these are not much better than their poisonous oral route relatives. However, for some types of neck pain, spinal decompression is an ideal method of care that may allow patients to enjoy a full cure without facing the dangers, pain and expense of spinal surgery.
Invasive care consists of surgical treatments for neck pain. Neck surgery is very commonplace, with many procedural variations available to treat an exhaustive range of diagnoses. Neck surgery is also extremely hazardous and is well known to provide poor to abysmal outcomes for the majority of patients and diagnoses treated. Why do so many people feel the need to have surgery for chronic neck pain? Because doctors push these procedures as purely financial gains for themselves, rather than out of true need, efficacy or even expected positive benefit for their patients.
Neck Pain Treatment Effectiveness
Conservative care of a symptomatic nature is not even designed to cure. In fact, pharmacological therapy worsens overall health so that the patients will require more treatments in the future. Not finding a cure from drugs, chiropractic, massage or other symptom-targeting therapy should never be a surprise. It should be an expectation.
Moderate care is the most variable in its efficacy. Some very minor surgical techniques can world very well to fix issues in the neck, or simply make pain a thing of the past. Nerve ablation is a perfect example. Although the underlying source of pain remains, the patients will not experience pain since the nerves carrying these torturous signals are purposefully disabled, at least temporarily. Spinal decompression can provide a true and organic cure for disc-related pathologies in the neck and some arthritic concerns. The risks are low, but the cost is high and time commitment is considerable.
Invasive neck surgery can provide a cure when the diagnosis is accurate, the procedure goes well and no serious complications arise to ruin the therapeutic outcome. However, statistically, most procedures fail immediately or eventually, causing the patient to go through surgery for nothing. In fact, many patients get worse following spinal surgery and might become disabled or even die from their ordeal. This is why it is crucially important to get more than one diagnostic opinion before surgery and never take the idea of neck surgery lightly. Doing so will make you a sheep to the slaughter and maybe yet another casualty of a greedy economically-motivated medical juggernaut.