Effectiveness and safety of manual therapy when compared with oral pain medications in patients with neck pain: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Review written by Dr Julia Treleaven info

Key Points

  1. Manual therapy (MT) is more effective in reducing pain in the short and long term than oral pain medications.
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BACKGROUND & OBJECTIVE

Neck pain is one of the leading causes of disability globally (1). Manual therapy (MT) and oral pain medications are frequently used in the management of neck pain (2), however medications can pose risks, may not be well tolerated and their effectiveness in neck pain is controversial. MT may be safer and more effective (3).

Therefore, the aims of the review were to examine the effectiveness and safety of MT compared to oral or topical pain medication in the management of neck pain.

Manual therapy and oral pain medications are frequently used in the management of neck pain.
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The results of the study suggest manual therapy is safer than medications for neck pain, however it is important that it is still provided with caution.

METHODS

  • To be included in this review, studies were only considered if they were a randomized controlled trial that assessed the effectiveness of MT compared to oral pain medications in adult patients with neck pain regardless of specific cause or associated
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