It is important to detect neck pain caused by significant causes (e.g., primary or metastatic cancer) and neck pain associated with neurologic compromise. The diagnostic approach to neck pain has not been as well studied as back pain, but a similar approach is recommended.
Neck pain can be considered in 4 categories as follows:
Grade 1: No signs of major pathology and little interference with daily activities
Grade 2: No signs of major pathology but may impact daily activities
Grade 3: Neck pain with neurologic signs or symptoms (radiculopathy)
Grade 4: Neck pain with major pathology (e.g., fracture, myelopathy, neoplasm, spinal infection).
Neck pain is a common condition that causes significant disability. The estimated lifetime prevalence of a significant episode of neck pain is 40% to 70%, and the global point prevalence of neck pain is 4.9%. Between 33% and 65% of people recover from an episode of neck pain within one year, but relapses are common. Up to 20% of acute neck pain will go on to become chronic neck pain.
In the 2010 Global Burden of Disease Study, neck pain ranked fourth highest for the number of years lived with disability.
Neck pain increases from 18 to 30 years through to middle age (50-55 years). In some studies, there is a decrease after 50 to 55 years, whereas other studies report no change or a slight increase. All epidemiologic studies show women having higher rates of neck pain than men.
High body mass index, frequent neck extension during the working day, high initial pain intensity, and high psychological job demands are all predictors of chronic neck pain development in office workers.
Cervical radicular pain has an annual incidence of 63 to 107 cases per 100,000, and incidence peaks in the fourth and fifth decades.
- Cervical strain
- Acute whiplash
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Cervical facet syndrome
- Spasmodic torticollis
- Cervical fracture
- Cervical dislocation
- Cervical radiculopathy
- Cervical myelopathy
- Cancer: metastatic
- Cancer: primary
- Vertebral osteomyelitis
- Epidural abscess
- Herpes zoster
- Carotid artery dissection
- Vertebral artery dissection
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