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14-01-2013 | Pain medicine | Article

Dizziness does not hamper neck pain therapy


Free abstract

medwireNews: Neck pain patients with dizziness may suffer more pain and disability than their peers without dizziness, but they are no less likely to improve with chiropractic treatment, study findings indicate.

"The findings from this study are very encouraging for neck pain patients undergoing chiropractic treatment who also suffer from dizziness," say B Kim Humphreys and Cynthia Peterson, both from the University of Zürich and Orthopaedic Hospital Balgrist in Switzerland.

They found that 78% of 228 neck pain patients and 80% of 177 patients with neck pain and related dizziness were "significantly improved" with regard to neck pain and dizziness 6 months after undergoing chiropractic therapy.

In all, 405 neck pain patients participated in the study, of whom 44% reported neck pain and related dizziness. The majority (75%) of these patients were women.

Patients with neck pain and related dizziness reported significantly higher levels of neck pain, arm pain, physical and social disability, anxiety, depression, work fear, avoidance, and less control over their pain condition on the Bournemouth Questionnaire (BQN) than those without dizziness. As a result, total BQN scores at baseline were significantly higher for those with dizziness, at 36.4 versus 29.9.

Both groups showed clinically relevant improvement, defined as scores of 1 or 2 ("much better" or "better") on the Patient's Global Impression of Change scale at 1, 3, and 6 months following chiropractic treatment, and by 6 months there was no significant difference in outcome between the two groups.

The researchers report in Chiropractic & Manual Therapies that the BQN depression subscale "stood out as the most dramatic difference between patients with and without dizziness as well as between males and females with and without dizziness."

They found that it was nearly 2 points higher in patients with dizziness at baseline but also improved the most by nearly 3.4 points at 6 months. Also women with dizziness reported higher levels of depression compared with men at 1, 3, and 6 months.

By Lucy Piper, Senior medwireNews Reporter

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