European Spine Journal

, Volume 24, Issue 3, pp 482–492 | Cite as

Prevalence of neck and low back pain in community-dwelling adults in Spain: an updated population-based national study (2009/10–2011/12)

  • Domingo Palacios-Ceña
  • Cristina Alonso-Blanco
  • Valentín Hernández-Barrera
  • Pilar Carrasco-Garrido
  • Rodrigo Jiménez-García
  • César Fernández-de-las-Peñas
Original Article



To estimate time trends in the prevalence of neck (NP) and low back pain (LBP) from 2009 to 2012; and to determine the socio-demographic features, self-rated health status, co-morbidity, lifestyle-related habits, and health care service associated with NP and LBP in Spanish adults.

Outcome measures

The European Health Interview Survey for Spain (2009) and the Spanish National Health Survey (2011).


A total of 43,072 subjects were included. We analyzed data collected from the European Health Interview Survey for Spain conducted in 2009 (n = 22,188), and the Spanish National Health Survey in 2011 (n = 20,884). We considered the presence of isolated NP, LBP and both (NP&LBP). We analyzed socio-demographic features; self-perceived health status; lifestyle habits; comorbid diseases, and professional treatment using logistic regression models.


The prevalence of isolated NP, LBP and NP&LBP increased from 2008/9 to 2011/12 (7.86 vs. 8.56 %; 5.18 vs.5.44 %; 10.61 vs.11.12 %, respectively). Being female, increased the probability of isolated NP and NP&LBP, but decreased the probability of LBP. The prevalence of all pain localizations increased with older age, lower education level, poor self-rated health, smoker, comorbidities, psychological distress (anxiety or depression), hospital and physiotherapist visits and consumed drugs for pain, in 2008/9 as compared to 2011/12. Moreover, LBP, and NP&LBP were associated with obesity, whereas NP&LBP was associated with being married.


The prevalence of LBP, NP and NP&LBP had increased in the last 3 years in Spain.


Neck pain Low back pain Health surveys Time trends 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Domingo Palacios-Ceña
    • 1
  • Cristina Alonso-Blanco
    • 1
  • Valentín Hernández-Barrera
    • 2
  • Pilar Carrasco-Garrido
    • 2
  • Rodrigo Jiménez-García
    • 2
  • César Fernández-de-las-Peñas
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Physical Therapy Occupational Therapy Rehabilitation and Physical Medicine Departamental II, Despacho 1056. Facultad Ciencias de la SaludUniversidad Rey Juan CarlosAlcorcónSpain
  2. 2.Preventive Medicine and Public Health Teaching and Research Unit, Department of Health SciencesUniversidad Rey Juan CarlosMadridSpain

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