How to find the best chiropractor for your neck
A new study has revealed that it’s not just the neck that’s a concern when it comes to neck pain.
Researchers from McGill University found that chiropractors are more likely to be misdiagnosed than those with neck pain, leading to the conclusion that they’re not treating the problem in the right way.
In a study published online in the Journal of Neuro-oncology, researchers from McGill and the University of Ottawa tested more than 1,000 chiropractic patients across five countries.
“The main finding was that chiropractor misdiagnosis was a much greater issue among patients with neck injuries than among those with shoulder injuries,” said Dr. Sarah A. Haggerty, lead author and a McGill University professor in neurosurgery.
“There was no association between misdiagnoses and neck pain.”
While the researchers say the results suggest that the most common cause of neck pain is neck pain that’s caused by a problem with the spine, they caution that the findings don’t mean chiropractics are not effective for neck pain patients.
“Chiropractors may be more helpful for patients with lower-level symptoms of neck dysfunction than patients with higher-level pain,” said Haggertty.
“For patients with low-level problems, chiropracting may be better for lower-order pain than for higher-order problems.”
She added that it could be that patients with the most low-order symptoms may be most likely to need chiropractically-based treatment.
“This study found that patients who have neck pain are less likely to receive chiropractical care.
This may mean that chiroporticians are not targeting low-range pain and are targeting high-range neck pain,” she said.
In addition to the research, Haggerttty is also looking at whether chiropractists are over-diagnosing.
“We wanted to see if there is an increase in the misdiagnosing of chiropracts as a result of neck injuries.
So, we looked at the data in a meta-analysis of published data,” she explained.
Haggerty said the study is important because it suggests that there may be an underlying risk to chiropracty’s effectiveness.
“There are some people who have low-intensity or moderate-intensity neck pain and who have a higher than average risk of having a cervical disc infection, which is associated with a higher rate of cervical spine injury,” she noted.
“That suggests that, as a general practice, we may be over-stating the effectiveness of chiroportic care.”
However, she also noted that the study does not necessarily mean chiropractor-diagnosed patients should avoid chiropractial care.
“These findings could be due to the way in which we assessed chiropractor-diagnosis.
I think we still need to do a lot more research before we can make definitive conclusions,” she added.
Read more about neck pain:The study was funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the Department of Health and Wellbeing, with the authors responsible for the analysis and interpretation of the data.