Neck and back pain: musculoskeletal disorders

Neurol Clin. 2007 May;25(2):419-38. doi: 10.1016/j.ncl.2007.01.006.


In this article, non-neurologic causes of neck and back pain are reviewed. Musculoskeletal pain generators include muscle, tendon, ligament, intervertebral disc, articular cartilage, and bone. Disorders that can produce neck and back pain include muscle strain, ligament sprain, myofascial pain, fibromyalgia, facet joint pain, internal disc disruption, somatic dysfunction, spinal fracture, vertebral osteomyelitis, and polymyalgia rheumatica. Atlantoaxial instability and atlanto-occipital joint pain are additional causes of neck pain. Back pain resulting from vertebral compression fracture, Scheuermann's disease, spondylolysis and spondylolisthesis, pregnancy, Baastrup's disease, sacroiliac joint dysfunction, and sacral stress fracture is discussed.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Back Pain / diagnosis
  • Back Pain / physiopathology*
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Musculoskeletal Diseases / diagnosis
  • Musculoskeletal Diseases / physiopathology*
  • Neck Pain / diagnosis
  • Neck Pain / physiopathology*
  • Spine / diagnostic imaging
  • Spine / pathology
  • Tomography, Emission-Computed, Single-Photon
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed