Non-radicular neck pain arising from local musculoskeletal structures, known as mechanical neck pain or somatic dysfunction, is highly prevalent in the fighter jet aviator population. The management of this problem includes both therapeutic and aeromedical decisions. In addition to non-steroidal anti-infl ammatory medications, waiver guides recommend therapeutic exercise and manipulative therapy as treatments for somatic spine pain in aviators, and such treatments are employed in many military locations. However, there are currently no published studies that describe the use of manipulative therapy for fi ghter jet aviators. We report the case of an F/A-18 instructor pilot who experienced long-term relief of uncomplicated mechanical neck pain following interdisciplinary management that included manipulation and a home exercise program. Diagnostic considerations, conservative treatment options, and aeromedical concerns are discussed.
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