Manual therapy, mobilisation and acupuncture are better choices for managing most common neck pain than many current practices, a seven year study finds.

Researchers conclude that neck collars and ultrasound are not recommended. Corticosteroid injections and surgery should only be considered if there is associated pain, weakness or numbness in the arm, fracture or serious disease.

Reference: pubmed.
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Acupressure Eases Low Back Pain – Acupressure Eases Low Back Pain
02.20.06, 12:00 AM ET

MONDAY, Feb. 20 (HealthDay News) — Acupresssure — pushing with the fingertips at the same body points used in acupuncture — gave patients better, long-lasting relief for low back pain than conventional physical therapy, Taiwanese researchers report.

‘Acupressure was effective in reducing low back pain in terms of disability, pain scores and functional status,’ doctors at the National Taiwan University reported in the current issue of the British Medical Journal. ‘The benefit was sustained for six months.’

‘Acupressure conferred an 89 percent reduction in physical disability compared with physical therapy,’ the researchers reported. The people who got acupressure also scored better on measures of pain and had fewer days taken off from work or school, the researchers said.

However, they cautioned that the effectiveness of any manipulative therapy such as acupressure ‘is highly dependent on the therapist’s technique and experience.’

Read more on how acupuncture and acupressure releases pain.

A new Perth study has found acupuncture and massage significantly improve the well-being of cancer patients.

More than 500 patients in the study began using complementary treatments in addition to traditional medicine like chemotherapy and morphine over a 17-month period.

The researchers at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital found the therapies relieved physical symptoms such as nausea and pain, while improving the patient’s overall quality of life.

The director of the Cancer Support Centre, David Joske, says the treatments worked extremely well but more research needs to be done “to start to ask how can we get the best out of these two worlds which in the past really have been mutually exclusive in our society”.

He says he hopes the study gives greater credibility to the benefits of complementary medicine.