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New guide outlines effective neck pain treatments

July 8, Toronto, ON –A new neck pain guide offers a concise summary on both helpful and unhelpful approaches to treating this common condition. The Neck Pain Evidence Summary is based on a series of research reviews published in the journal Spine. It covers the range of possible treatments for different severities and types of neck pain, including whiplash.

July 14, 2010  By Massage Therapy Canada

The Institute for Work and
 Health (IWH) created this summary to share the evidence synthesis
completed by the Bone and Joint Decade 2000-2010 Task Force on Neck Pain.  

In February 2008, Spine published
a special edition dedicated to the task force’s reviews on the prevention,
prognosis, diagnosis and management of neck pain. After publication, a network
of Canadian leaders from the chiropractic community suggested distilling the
evidence into a summary coordinated by IWH.  


Dr. Sheilah Hogg-Johnson, a task
force member and IWH senior scientist says, “The
Neck Pain Evidence Summary
provides a way for health-care
professionals to review the evidence easily in their practice, and if they need
further information, they can refer to the full research papers.”  

The task force recommends
treatments or further assessments, based on the severity of neck pain. They
classified severity into four grades. In the Evidence Summary, a chart outlines
the signs and symptoms, and further assessments for each grade. Then both
helpful and unhelpful treatments are presented by grade and type of injury.  

Because there are several helpful
treatments for some grades of neck pain, the patient’s preference should be
considered. For instance, any of the following treatments may benefit for the
less serious Grade I or II neck pain, in cases with no traumatic accident:
acupuncture, neck mobilization and manipulation, supervised exercise, low-level
laser therapy and pain relievers.  

The guide will be useful to various
health-care professionals who use these approaches, including chiropractors,
massage therapists, medical doctors, physiotherapists and others.  

The Neck Pain Evidence Summary is available online at

For more information, please contact Anita Dubey, Manager, Communications,
Institute for Work and Health at 416-927-2027 ext. 2260 or by emailing

About the Task Force

The Bone and Joint Decade 2000-2010 Task Force
on Neck Pain and Its Associated Disorders involved more than 50 people from
nine countries and represented 19 clinical and scientific disciplines or
specialties. The task force was affiliated with eight collaborating
universities and research institutes as well as 11 professional organizations.
The task force has published more than 20 research studies and “best evidence”
systematic reviews on neck pain.

About the Institute for Work and

The Institute for Work and Health
is an independent, not-for-profit research organization whose mission is to
conduct and share research that protects and improves the health of working
people and is valued by policy-makers, workers and workplaces, clinicians, and
health and safety professionals. IWH operates with the support of the Ontario
Workplace Safety and Insurance Board.

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