Entries in Neck Pain (4)


What’s in Your Bag? Heavy Purses Can Cause Back, Neck Pain

Hemera/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- That designer bag may look fabulous on your arm, but what is it doing to your back?  

Carrying bags that weigh more than five pounds can be hazardous to your health, doctors say.  That’s why ABC's Good Morning America decided to launch its very own “Purse Intervention,” weighing women’s purses across the country.

GMA ambushed women on the streets of New York and Los Angeles and found women are lugging around tons of extra weight with purses that weigh in the range of 5 to 10 pounds, and some even more.

But it’s not just what’s inside the bags that creates the weight.  With heavy buckles and grommets,  belts and more, trendy purses today have accessories of their own, which add to the load.

While it may seem minor, there are some fairly serious injuries heavy bag carrying can cause, including headaches, neck and upper back pain, even arm numbness and tingling if the nerves are being pinched, explains New York City chiropractor Dr. Randi Jaffee.

So what’s a girl to do?  Follow these tips from the experts to help lighten the load:

Two bags are better than one.  Always carry an extra bag with you.  That way if you have more to cart around, you can put it in this little bag and wear it on both shoulders.

Purses with long straps are better than short ones.  Wear the strap across your heart to better distribute the weight and give your shoulder a little break.

Backpacks and rolly bags are the best bet for your back.  The backpack gives you an equal distribution of weight on both shoulders, and the rolly bag takes the weight off your back altogether.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Is Spinal Manipulation for Neck Pain Safe?

Keith Brofsky/Photodisc/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Spinal manipulation, a procedure that uses a flow of movement and points along the vertebrae to restore joint motion and realign the spine, is one of the most common treatments for neck pain.  Previous studies suggest between 6 percent to 12 percent of Americans undergo spinal manipulation every year.

But the safety and efficacy of the technique has long been debated by medical experts.

Some evidence suggests that spinal manipulation, which is most often used by chiropractors, can offer some benefit to people who have back pain and some musculoskeletal disorders.

The technique varies in level and intensity, depending on the severity of the ailment, said Keith Overland, a chiropractor and president of the American Chiropractic Association.

However, some medical experts question whether spinal manipulation is a safe and effective technique for patients with neck pain.

Two reviews of the evidence by researchers published Thursday in the British Medical Journal add one more weight on each side for and against spinal manipulation.

In the first review, the authors conclude the technique is "unnecessary and inadvisable."  The review cites studies that have suggested an association between spinal manipulation and more intense injuries, including tearing of the artery, and even stroke.

The studies "provide consistent evidence of an association between neurovascular injury and recent exposure to cervical manipulation," Neil O'Connell, a lecturer at the center for research in rehabilitation at Brunel University in Uxbridge, and his colleagues wrote.

According to Overland, the most common side effect from manipulation is soreness, adding that other more serious side effects are extremely rare.

The second study review suggests there are benefits to the technique, especially when used together with other pain relieving methods, such as exercise.

"We say no to abandoning manipulation and yes to more rigorous research on the benefits and harms of this and other common interventions for neck pain," David Cassidy, a professor in the department of epidemiology at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto, and his colleagues wrote.

According to Dr. Cain Dimon, physician director of the center for pain medicine at William Beaumont Hospitals in Royal Oak, Mich., spinal manipulation may be appropriate only after patients receive a full physical exam to detect the problem and undergo other types of treatments to relieve the pain first.

"I certainly don't dismiss chiropractic manipulation," said Dimon.  "It can certainly help in some cases lower pain."

Overland said it's unlikely that a chiropractor would perform a spinal manipulation without first knowing the exact cause of pain.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Neck Pain: Chiropractors, Exercise Better than Medication, Study Says

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- When it comes to neck pain the best medicine is no medicine at all, according to a new study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

The study, funded by the National Institutes of Health, tracked 272 patients with recent-onset neck pain who were treated using three different methods:

  1. Medication
  2. Exercise
  3. A chiropractor

After 12 weeks the patients who used a chiropractor or exercised were more than twice as likely to be pain-free compared to those who relied on medicine.

The patients treated by a chiropractor experienced the highest rate of success, with 32 percent saying they were pain-free, compared to 30 percent of those who exercised. Only 13 percent of patients treated with medication said they no longer experienced pain.

“Doesn’t surprise me a bit,” Dr. Lee Green, professor of family medicine at the University of Michigan, told ABC News. “Neck pain is a mechanical problem, and it makes sense that mechanical treatment works better than a chemical one.”

Dr. John Messmer, who specializes in family medicine at Penn State College of Medicine, agrees.

“I always prescribe exercises and/or physical therapy for neck pain,” he wrote. “I also tell patients that the exercises are the treatment and the drugs are for the symptoms.”

The exercises prescribed to patients in the study were simple and designed to be performed at home with the help of instructional photos.

Click Here to See the Neck Exercises

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Botox Injections Don't Do Much for Neck Pain

BananaStock/Thinkstock(BOSTON) -- Despite being approved last year by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as a treatment for chronic migraines, Botox injections don't seem to be as beneficial for other forms of head and neck pain, according to researchers at Merck Research Laboratories.

The authors of the study, which was released on Tuesday, reviewed nine studies involving over 500 participants and found that there was little difference in pain following Botox or placebo injections.

Although it’s possible that Botox provided some benefits that weren’t measured in the studies, the authors wrote that “based on current evidence we have no reason for supporting the use of BoNT [Botulinum toxin, or Botox] as a stand-alone therapy for neck pain, but we do suggest that researchers consider further study to clarify whether the dose can be optimized for neck pain.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio