European Spine Journal

, Volume 17, Supplement 1, pp 93–100

Course and Prognostic Factors for Neck Pain in Workers

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

DOI: 10.1007/s00586-008-0629-6

Cite this article as:
Carroll, L.J., Hogg-Johnson, S., Côté, P. et al. Eur Spine J (2008) 17(Suppl 1): 93. doi:10.1007/s00586-008-0629-6

Study Design

Best-evidence synthesis.

Objective

To perform a best evidence synthesis on the course and prognostic factors for neck pain and its associated disorders in workers.

Summary of Background Data

Knowledge of the course of neck pain in workers guides expectations for recovery. Identifying prognostic factors assists in planning effective workplace policies, formulating interventions and promoting lifestyle changes to decrease the frequency and burden of neck pain in the workplace.

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 the literature published between 1980 and 2006 to assemble the best evidence on neck pain and its associated disorders. Studies meeting criteria for scientific validity were included in a best evidence synthesis.

Results

We found 226 articles related to course and prognostic factors in neck pain and its associated disorders. After a critical review, 70 (31%) were accepted on scientific merit; 14 of these studies related to course and prognostic factors in working populations. Between 60% and 80% of workers with neck pain reported neck pain1 year later. Few workplace or physical job demands were identified as being linked to recovery from neck pain. However, workers with little influence on their own work situation had a slightly poorer prognosis, and white-collar workers had a better prognosis than blue-collar workers. General exercise was associated with better prognosis; prior neck pain and prior sick leave were associated with poorer prognosis.

Conclusion

The Neck Pain Task Force presents a report of current best evidence on course and prognosis for neck pain. Few modifiable prognostic factors were identified; however, having some influence over one's own job and being physically active seem to hold promise as prognostic factors.

Keywords

neck painsystematic reviewepidemiologyprognosis

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2008

Authors and Affiliations

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