Chiropractic and Exercise for Seniors with Neck Pain

Are chiropractic and exercise effective treatments for seniors with neck pain?

Neck pain is a common problem in seniors. Chiropractic manual treatment and exercise have been shown to be helpful in younger populations with neck pain. However there has been little research testing these promising treatments in older adults.

With the overall goal of reducing pain and enhancing the functional capacity of seniors, our scientists conducted one of the first full-scale randomized clinical trials evaluating chiropractic care and exercise for neck pain sufferers 65 years of age and older. A total of 240 patients took part in the project.

Our primary purpose was to compare how chiropractic care and two different types of exercise affected patients’ pain levels. We also measured the impact treatments had on patients’ disability, general health status, improvement, and satisfaction. Biomechanical assessments of spinal motion, trunk endurance and functional ability were also performed by blinded examiners. Finally, qualitative interviews were done to gain an understanding of how older patients experience neck pain, and how they felt about chiropractic and exercise treatments.

Project Status: Recruitment complete

Study Name: Chiropractic and Exercise for Seniors with Neck Pain

Principal Investigator: Gert Bronfort, DC, PhD

Funding Agency: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) identifier: NCT00269308

Related Publications:

Maiers M, Hartvigsen J, Schulz C, Schulz K, Evans R, Bronfort G. Chiropractic and exercise for seniors with low back pain or neck pain: the design of two randomized clinical trials. BMC Musculoskelet Disord. 2007;8(1):94.