SMT for Acute Neck Pain – Systematic Review & Meta-Analysis
- Dr. Shawn Thistle
Acute neck pain is very common, and relapses of this condition are frequent. Musculoskeletal neck pain together with low back pain have been reported as the leading global cause of disability in almost all age groups. Annual spending for the management of lower back and neck pain combined in the United States alone has been estimated to be $87.6 billion (USD).
About 1/3 of patients seeking care from a general practitioner (GP) do so because of musculoskeletal pain, mostly for neck and lower back pain. Such care generally involves analgesic and/or muscle relaxant medications and possible referral to a physiotherapist. However, only about 8% of GPs refer patients with neck pain for manual therapy, which often includes spinal manipulative therapy (SMT). Reasons given by GPs for not referring more patients for manual therapy/SMT include concern about associated complications and inadequate support in practice guidelines regarding the effectiveness of SMT.
The objectives of this systematic review were:
- to determine the effect of SMT on acute neck pain of less than 6 weeks duration;
- to determine the pooled effect size using unimodal SMT intervention vs. control/placebo and multimodal interventions vs. control/placebo;
- to descriptively present the effect of SMT on disability and quality of life measures; and
- to descriptively report adverse effects (AEs).
THIS WEEK'S RESEARCH REVIEW: 'SMT for Acute Neck Pain – Systematic Review & Meta-Analysis'
This paper was published in the Journal of Clinical Medicine (2021) and this Review is posted in Recent Reviews, Neck Pain, Cervical Spine - Manipulation/Mobilization and the 2022 Archive.