European Spine Journal

, Volume 17, Supplement 1, pp 75–82

Course and Prognostic Factors for Neck Pain in the General Population

Results of the Bone and Joint Decade 2000 –2010 Task Force on Neck Pain and Its Associated Disorders
  • Linda J. Carroll
  • Sheilah Hogg-Johnson
  • Gabrielle van der Velde
  • Scott Haldeman
  • Lena W. Holm
  • Eugene J. Carragee
  • Eric L. Hurwitz
  • Pierre Côté
  • Margareta Nordin
  • Paul M. Peloso
  • Jaime Guzman
  • J. David Cassidy
Best Evidence

DOI: 10.1007/s00586-008-0627-8

Cite this article as:
Carroll, L.J., Hogg-Johnson, S., van der Velde, G. et al. Eur Spine J (2008) 17(Suppl 1): 75. doi:10.1007/s00586-008-0627-8

Study Design

Best evidence synthesis.

Objective

To undertake a best evidence synthesis on course and prognosis of neck pain and its associated disorders in the general population.

Summary of Background Data

Knowing the course of neck pain guides expectations for recovery. Identifying prognostic factors assists in planning public policies, formulating interventions, and promoting lifestyle changes to decrease the burden of neck pain.

Methods

The Bone and Joint Decade 2000 –2010 Task Force on Neck Pain and its Associated Disorders (Neck Pain Task Force) conducted a critical review of literature published between 1980 and 2006 to assemble the best evidence on neck pain. Findings fromstudiesmeeting criteria for scientific validity were abstracted into evidence tables and included in a best evidence synthesis.

Results

We found 226 articles on the course and prognostic factors in neck pain and its associated disorders. After critical review, 70 (31) of these were accepted on scientific merit. Six studies related to course and 7 to prognostic factors in the general population. Between half and three quarters of persons in these populations with current neck pain will report neck pain again 1 to 5 years later. Younger age predicted better outcome. General exercise was unassociated with outcome, although regular bicycling predicted poor outcome in 1 study. Psychosocial factors, including psychologic health, coping patterns, and need to socialize, were the strongest prognostic factors. Several potential prognostic factors have not been well studied, including degenerative changes, genetic factors, and compensation policies.

Conclusion

The Neck Pain Task Force undertook a best evidence synthesis to establish a baseline of the current best evidence on the course and prognosis for this symptom. General exercise was not prognostic of better outcome; however, several psychosocial factors were prognostic of outcome.

Key words

neck pain systematic review epidemiology prognosis 

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Linda J. Carroll
    • 1
    • 2
    • 24
  • Sheilah Hogg-Johnson
    • 3
    • 4
  • Gabrielle van der Velde
    • 3
    • 5
    • 6
    • 7
  • Scott Haldeman
    • 8
    • 9
  • Lena W. Holm
    • 10
  • Eugene J. Carragee
    • 11
    • 12
  • Eric L. Hurwitz
    • 13
  • Pierre Côté
    • 4
    • 6
  • Margareta Nordin
    • 14
    • 15
    • 16
    • 17
    • 6
    • 11
  • Paul M. Peloso
    • 18
  • Jaime Guzman
    • 19
    • 20
  • J. David Cassidy
    • 21
    • 22
    • 23
  1. 1.Department of Public Health SciencesUniversity of AlbertaEdmontonCanada
  2. 2.The Alberta Centre for Injury Control and Research, School of Public HealthUniversity of AlbertaEdmontonCanada
  3. 3.Institute for Work and HealthTorontoCanada
  4. 4.Department of Public Health SciencesUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada
  5. 5.Department of Health Policy, Management and EvaluationUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada
  6. 6.Centre of Research Excellence in Improved Disability Outcomes (CREIDO)University Health Network Rehabilitation Solutions, Toronto Western HospitalTorontoCanada
  7. 7.Division of Health Care Outcomes and ResearchToronto Western Research InstituteTorontoCanada
  8. 8.Department of NeurologyUniversity of CaliforniaIrvineUSA
  9. 9.Department of Epidemiology, School of Public HealthUniversity of CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA
  10. 10.Institute of Environmental MedicineKarolinska InstitutetStockholmSweden
  11. 11.Department of Orthopaedic SurgeryStanford University School of MedicineStanford USA
  12. 12.Orthopaedic Spine Center and Spinal Surgery ServiceStanford University Hospital and ClinicsStanfordUSA
  13. 13.Department of Public Health Sciences, John A. Burns School of MedicineUniversity of Hawaii at MānoaHonoluluUSA
  14. 14.Department of OrthopaedicsNew York University Medical CenterNew YorkUSA
  15. 15.Department of Environmental MedicineNew York University Medical CenterNew YorkUSA
  16. 16.Program of Ergonomics and Biomechanics, School of Medicine and Graduate School of Arts and ScienceNew York University Medical CenterNew YorkUSA
  17. 17.Occupational and Industrial Orthopaedic Center (OIOC)New York UniversityNew YorkUSA
  18. 18.Endocrinology, Analgesia and InflammationMerck & Co.RahwayUSA
  19. 19.Department of MedicineUniversity of British ColumbiaVanCouverCanada
  20. 20.Occupational Health and Safety Agency for Health care in BCVanCouverCanada
  21. 21.Centre of Research Expertise in Improved Disability Outcomes (CREIDO)University Health Network Rehabilitation Solutions, Toronto Western HospitalTorontoCanada
  22. 22.Division of Health Care and Outcomes ResearchToronto Western Research InstituteTorontoCanada
  23. 23.Departments of Public Health Sciences and Health Policy, Management and EvaluationUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada
  24. 24.4075 RTFUniversity of AlbertaEdmontonCanada

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