This study begins by noting that neck pain is common. Statistics show that 37.2% of the population will experience neck pain lasting over one year’s duration. Over 50% of the population suffers some form of neck pain in their lifetime. Additionally, neck pain is the fourth leading cause of years lost to disability. Women more commonly suffer with neck pain then men.
In this case, a 46-year-old woman with chronic neck pain and left-hand numbness presented herself to a chiropractic clinic. The neck pain was long-term, and the woman could not recall when and how the problem first started. The numbness she was experiencing in her left hand was intermittent with no defined pattern or timing. She had not seen any other type of doctor for these conditions prior to her visit to the chiropractor.
She described the pain as achy and stiff. She initially rated the pain as a 4 out of 10 initially on a scale of 0 to 10 where 0 is no pain. She noted that her pain worsened after working long hours or traveling for work. However, she reported that none of her daily activities were affected. Massages did give her some short-term relief for the pain.
In addition to her primary complaint of neck pain and hand numbness, she also reported that she experienced low back pain and tingling, and numbness into the toes. She had previously been diagnosed with lumbar disc herniation and was treated by a physical therapist.
A chiropractic examination was performed which included spinal palpation, range of motion, relevant orthopedic and neurological exams, thermographic heat scans, and a postural analysis. Spinal x-rays of her neck were also performed. The x-rays showed moderate degeneration of mid-neck area.
Based upon the examination and x-rays, specific chiropractic care was started. She was initially seen twice per week and adjusted based upon an evaluation performed each visit. After two months of chiropractic care the patient reported a total resolution of her neck pain and the numbness she was experiencing in her left hand.
Neck pain is one of the more common conditions for which people seek chiropractic care. The authors of the study noted, “Chiropractic care has been used to manage numerous musculoskeletal conditions including neck pain. Neck pain accounts for 25% of the initial consultations and examinations rendered at chiropractic offices.”