Researchers at Duke University and University of North Carolina observe that doctors are over-prescribing drugs for the treatment of chronic neck pain.

They found that more than 56 per cent of neck pain patients were using over-the-counter medications, while 29 per cent reported using strong narcotics and 23 per cent used weak narcotics.

Dr Adam Goode, who led the study, commented: “Rehabilitation conditioning and acupuncture studies have shown to be effective treatments that were less frequently used by patients with chronic neck pain.”

Published in November issue of Arthritis Care and Research, the study noted that some effective treatments were being overlooked in favour of other over-used options.