Neck Pain

08/09/2019

What is neck pain? 

Neck pain is the pain located on the neck, i.e., the back of the neck, and may be reflected to the head or to one or the other shoulder or even along one or the other upper extremity. Although less common than back pain, neck pain is also a common musculoskeletal symptom. It has been estimated that about 70% of people in the general population experience at least one episode of neck pain during their lifetime. 


What is the incidence of neck pain in the general population? 

In the recent Pan-Hellenic epidemiological research on rheumatic diseases (Greek / English) in the general population of our country, organized and carried out by the Hellenic Institute of Rheumatology Research, it was found that the prevalence of neck pain, ie 4, is 4.8. % of adults. Neck pain is significantly more common among women than men, and its incidence increases with age.


What are the effects of neck pain on the social and national economy of our country? 

The above research on rheumatic diseases has evaluated the effects of neck and back pain on the health system, the society as a whole and the national economy of our country. Two indicators were used for this assessment and in comparison with all other groups of diseases in the general adult population: doctor visits and prescription medication use.

 Thus, the study "Neck pain and back pain as a cause of medical visits compared to all other groups of diseases in the general adult population of Greece" found that neck pain and back pain have significant adverse effects on our health system and our society as a whole. , being the fourth most frequent cause of medical visits after cardiovascular disease, respiratory and endocrine and metabolic disorders (Figure 35).   However, analysis of data by age group showed that in people under 45 years of age, neck pain and backache are the second leading cause of medical visits with a 12% liability rate, with respiratory diseases being the leading cause with a 17% liability rate. . 

In another study entitled "Neck pain and back pain as a cause of use of prescription drugs compared to all other groups of diseases in the general adult population of Greece" found that neck pain and back pain have significant adverse effects on the health system, as well as in the national economy of our country, as it ranks fourth in the list of causes of prescription drugs after the groups of cardiovascular diseases, endocrine and metabolic diseases and hypotension. types of rheumatic diseases (Figure 36).However, analysis of the data by age group showed that in men under 45 years of age, neck pain and back pain are the first cause of prescription drug use with a 19% liability rate followed by respiratory disease liability rate 16. %. In women under the age of 45, neck pain and back pain are the second leading cause of drug use with a 13% liability rate, with endocrine and metabolic disorders accounting for 19%. This study was awarded as one of the top six clinical research papers among the approximately 2,000 papers presented at the Pan-European Rheumatology Congress, held in Lisbon in June 2003.

What are the causes of neck pain? 

Causes of neck pain include: 

  • "Mechanical" causes 
  • Muscle injury 
  • Cervical spine osteoarthritis 
  • Disc 
  • Backbone 
  • Spinal stenosis 

Inflammatory rheumatic diseases

  • Rheumatoid arthritis 
  • Ankylosing spondylarthritis 
  • Rheumatic polymyalgia 
  • Temporal arteritis Polymyositis - Dermatomyitis

Microbial agents 

  • Neoplastic diseases 
  • Osteoporosis 
  • Various other diseases 
  • Fibromyalgia 
  • Paget's disease 

Of all the above causes of neck pain most commonly are so-called "mechanical". A rheumatologist doctor based on the patient's history, clinical examination, and appropriate, when needed, visual examination of the spinal cord (usually with radiographs, sometimes with CT or MRI and more rarely with other methods) diagnosis of the cause of neck pain and will determine the treatment accordingly.

What is the treatment of neck pain? 

The therapeutic agents used to treat neck pain are similar to those applied to back pain with the exception of epidural injections, which are not applicable to the treatment of neck pain. Neck collar can be used as prescribed by the treating physician. 

Generally, the treatment plan to be applied to a particular patient with neck pain is determined by the treating physician based on the cause, clinical data, and specific characteristics of the patient. 

from: Ελληνικό Ίδρυμα Ρευματολογίας 

EF ZIN and Konstantinos Vaitsaras at your disposal for the treatment of Neck pain

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