The annual incidence and course of neck pain in the general population: a population-based cohort study

University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Pain (Impact Factor: 5.84). 01/2005; 112(3):267-73. DOI: 10.1016/j.pain.2004.09.004
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Although neck pain is a common source of disability, little is known about its incidence and course. We conducted a population-based cohort study of 1100 randomly selected Saskatchewan adults to determine the annual incidence of neck pain and describe its course. Subjects were initially surveyed by mail in September 1995 and followed-up 6 and 12 months later. The age and gender standardized annual incidence of neck pain is 14.6% (95% confidence interval: 11.3, 17.9). Each year, 0.6% (95% confidence interval: 0.0-1.1) of the population develops disabling neck pain. The annual rate of resolution of neck pain is 36.6% (95% confidence interval: 32.7, 40.5) and another 32.7% (95% confidence interval: 25.5, 39.9) report improvement. Among subjects with prevalent neck pain at baseline, 37.3% (95% confidence interval: 33.4, 41.2) report persistent problems and 9.9% (95% confidence interval: 7.4, 12.5) experience an aggravation during follow-up. Finally, 22.8% (95% confidence interval: 16.4, 29.3) of those with prevalent neck pain at baseline report a recurrent episode. Women are more likely than men to develop neck pain (incidence rate ratio=1.67, 95% confidence interval 1.08-2.60); more likely to suffer from persistent neck problems (incidence rate ratio=1.19, 95% confidence interval 1.03-1.38) and less likely to experience resolution (incidence rate ratio=0.75, 95% confidence interval 0.63-0.88). Neck pain is a disabling condition with a course marked by periods of remission and exacerbation. Contrary to prior belief, most individuals with neck pain do not experience complete resolution of their symptoms and disability.

Download full-text


Available from: Vicki Kristman, Jul 03, 2015
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The use of conventional modalities for chronic neck pain remains debatable, primarily because most treatments have had limited success. We conducted a review of the literature published up to December 2013 on the diagnostic and treatment modalities of disorders related to chronic neck pain and concluded that, despite providing temporary relief of symptoms, these treatments do not address the specific problems of healing and are not likely to offer long-term cures. The objectives of this narrative review are to provide an overview of chronic neck pain as it relates to cervical instability, to describe the anatomical features of the cervical spine and the impact of capsular ligament laxity, to discuss the disorders causing chronic neck pain and their current treatments, and lastly, to present prolotherapy as a viable treatment option that heals injured ligaments, restores stability to the spine, and resolves chronic neck pain. The capsular ligaments are the main stabilizing structures of the facet joints in the cervical spine and have been implicated as a major source of chronic neck pain. Chronic neck pain often reflects a state of instability in the cervical spine and is a symptom common to a number of conditions described herein, including disc herniation, cervical spondylosis, whiplash injury and whiplash associated disorder, postconcussion syndrome, vertebrobasilar insufficiency, and Barré-Liéou syndrome. When the capsular ligaments are injured, they become elongated and exhibit laxity, which causes excessive movement of the cervical vertebrae. In the upper cervical spine (C0-C2), this can cause a number of other symptoms including, but not limited to, nerve irritation and vertebrobasilar insufficiency with associated vertigo, tinnitus, dizziness, facial pain, arm pain, and migraine headaches. In the lower cervical spine (C3-C7), this can cause muscle spasms, crepitation, and/or paresthesia in addition to chronic neck pain. In either case, the presence of excessive motion between two adjacent cervical vertebrae and these associated symptoms is described as cervical instability. Therefore, we propose that in many cases of chronic neck pain, the cause may be underlying joint instability due to capsular ligament laxity. Currently, curative treatment options for this type of cervical instability are inconclusive and inadequate. Based on clinical studies and experience with patients who have visited our chronic pain clinic with complaints of chronic neck pain, we contend that prolotherapy offers a potentially curative treatment option for chronic neck pain related to capsular ligament laxity and underlying cervical instability.
    The Open Orthopaedics Journal 10/2014; 8(1):326-45. DOI:10.2174/1874325001408010326
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The study was conducted to estimate the extent to which pressure pain sensitivity (PPS) and patient factors predict pain-related disability in patients with neck pain (NP), and to determine if PPS differs by gender. Forty-four participants with a moderate level of chronic NP were recruited for this cross sectional study. All participants were asked to complete self-reported assessments of pain, disability and comorbidity and then underwent PPS testing at 4-selected body locations.Pearsos r w was computed to explore relationships between the PPS measures and the self-reported assessments. Regression models were built to identify predictors of pain and disability. An independent sample t-test was done to identify gender-related differences in PPS, pain-disability and comorbidity. In this study, greater PPS (threshold and tolerance) was significantly correlated to lower pain-disability (r = -.30 to -.53, p≤0.05). Age was not correlated with pain or disability but comorbidity was (r= 0.42-.43, p≤0.01). PPS at the 4-selected body locations was able to explain neck disability (R 2 =25-28%). Comorbidity was the strongest predictor of neck disability (R 2 =30%) and pain (R 2 =25%). Significant mean differences for gender were found in PPS, disability and comorbidity, but not in pain intensity or rating. This study suggests that PPS may play a role in outcome measures of pain and disability but between-subject comparisons should consider gender and comorbidity issues.
    The Open Orthopaedics Journal 06/2014; 8(1). DOI:10.2174/1874325001408010302
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Assessing sensorimotor abilities, such as movement control, becomes increasingly important for the management of patients with neck pain because of the potential contribution to the development of chronic neck pain. Our aim was to evaluate whether sensorimotor tests could discriminate between persons with neck pain and persons without neck pain and to assess correlations among the assessments. A matched case-control study with 30 persons with recurrent neck pain and 30 controls was conducted. We tested two-point discrimination (TPD), joint position error (JPE), muscle activation with the craniocervical flexion test (CCFT), laterality judgment accuracy and movement control (MC). We administered the Fear Avoidance Beliefs Questionnaire (FABQ), the Neck Disability Index (NDI) and the painDetect questionnaire. According to the areas under the curve (AUC), tests for the JPE (0.69), CCFT (0.73), MC (0.83) and laterality judgment accuracy (0.68) were able to discriminate between persons with and without neck pain. Among the five tests, laterality judgment accuracy exhibited moderate to large correlations with the JPE and MC, and moderate correlations were observed between the TPD and CCFT (r between -0.4 and -0.5). We recommend the assessment of various aspects of sensorimotor ability and of central representation of the body schema, even in patients with mild neck pain. For clinical practice, we recommend the craniocervical flexion test, testing of laterality judgment accuracy and three movement control tests (cervico-thoracic extension, protraction-retraction of the head and quadruped cervical rotation).
    Manual Therapy 06/2014; 19(6). DOI:10.1016/j.math.2014.05.014 · 1.76 Impact Factor