Posted: February 4, 2013
A study published in the January 7, 2013 issue of the journal Chiropractic & Manual Therapies shows that people with neck pain and those with both neck pain and associated dizziness respond equally as well to chiropractic care. The study was designed to see if the added factor of dizziness created a change in the response to chiropractic care. In this study the authors describe the reason for the study by stating, "The symptom dizziness is common in patients with chronic whiplash related disorders. However, little is known about dizziness in neck pain patients who have not suffered whiplash." The authors also wanted to look at any gender differences with the patients in this study to see if gender played a part in the outcome of care. The study was done with the cooperation of the Swiss Association for Chiropractic. The study notes that consecutive new patients over the age of 18 with neck pain of any duration who had not undergone chiropractic or manual therapy in the prior 3 months were recruited from 81 different chiropractor's offices who were members of the Swiss Association for Chiropractic. A total of 405 patients in Switzerland, who suffered with neck pain and who had consented to be part of the Chiropractic Outcome Study were included. Researchers conducted telephone interviews at 1, 3 and 6 months after the initiation of chiropractic care to document the patients' progress. A seven point scale ranging from 'much better', 'better', 'slightly better', 'no change', 'slightly worse', 'worse', and 'much worse' was used to track the results. From the total number of patients, 177 (44%) reported neck pain with related dizziness while 228 reported that they had neck pain without dizziness. A significantly larger number of the patients with dizziness were women. As expected the patients with dizziness suffered more severe pain as well as other complaints. The study results showed that after only the first month of care 72% of the patients with neck pain and dizziness showed improvement in their neck pain, while 73% of those with only neck pain had improved. Additionally, half (50%) of those with dizziness showed improvement in their dizziness in this same one month time frame. After 3 months of care 81% of all patients, with neck pain only or with dizziness, showed improvement in both the neck pain and their dizziness. After six months the results remained almost the same being within 2 percentage points for any of the groups and all of the complaints. In their conclusion the authors wrote, "Although neck pain patients with dizziness undergoing chiropractic treatment reported significantly higher pain and disability scores at baseline (beginning of study) compared to neck pain patients without dizziness, there were no significant differences in any outcome measures between the two groups at 6 months after start of treatment." In other words, the participants in this study all got good results regardless of the presence or lack of dizziness with their neck pain.