Neck pain in the general population

Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 1994 Jun 15;19(12):1307-9. doi: 10.1097/00007632-199406000-00001.


Study design: A randomized cross-sectional questionnaire was used to determine the prevalence of neck pain in Norwegian adults.

Objectives: The frequency and duration of neck pain were assessed.

Summary of background data: Reliable epidemiologic studies on the prevalence of neck pain in the general population have been sparse.

Methods: A questionnaire that inquired about neck pain within the last year was sent to a random sample of 10,000 adult Norwegians.

Results: Overall, 34.4% of the responders had experienced neck pain within the last year. A total of 13.8% reported neck pain that lasted for more than 6 months.

Conclusions: Chronic neck pain is a frequent symptom in the general population, particularly in women. Although reservations have to be taken as to the interpretation, the reported prevalence of persisting pain after whiplash injuries is of the same magnitude as the prevalence of chronic neck pain in the general population.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Chronic Disease
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neck*
  • Norway
  • Pain / epidemiology*
  • Prevalence
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Whiplash Injuries / epidemiology