Neck Pain Essays

Neck Pain Essays

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Neck pain is defined as pain between the occiput and third thoracic vertebrae (Cote et al., 2003) and is a common debilitating condition (Carroll et al., 2008). It is estimated 30-50% of all adults will develop neck pain at some point in their lives and of those affected, 11-14% will experience a degree of work-related limitation (Cote et al., 2008). Studies conducted in South African settings reported that the prevalence of neck pain was 50% in the Caucasian population and 45% in the indigenous African population. Indians, males had a higher prevalence of 55.7% compared to females (44.3%) (Ndlovo, 2006; Slabbert, 2009; Muchna, 2010).

Neck pain is categorised clinically as either non-specific or pathologic. Non-specific neck pain is pain in the cervical spine without any identifiable evidence of disease or trauma that could be attributed to it and typically presents with local tenderness or axial tenderness dorsally that may refer into the head, upper thoracic spine, chest or upper extremities (Tsakitzidis and Remmen, 2003; Nordin et al., 2008; Borghouts et al., 1998; Ferrari and Russell, 2003). Non-specific neck pain of mechanical origin may be associated with physiological and emotional stress, prolonged postures, trauma, referred pain or nerve root entrapment in the cervical spine (Barnard and Karnath, 2012). It can also be a component of disk herniation’s, headaches, temporomandibular syndromes, and fibromyalgia may also be associated with neck pain (Nordin et al., 2008).

Pathological neck pain presents with an identifiable pathological cause/s that can be attributed to the neck pain known clinically as red flags. Red flags are signs and symptoms the patient present with that are associated with serious pathological proces...


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...w-Hill companies, 661-682.

Rubinstein, P. and Tulder, M. 2007. A systemic review of the diagnostic accuracy of provocative tests of the neck for diagnosing cervical radiculopathy. Spine, 16 (3): 7-19.

Slabbert, W. 2009. An epidemiological investigation of neck pain in the white population in the greater Durban area. MTech Chiropractic, Durban University of Technology.

Tsakitzidis, G. and Remmen, R. 2003. Non-Specific Neck Pain and Evidence-Based Practice. European Scientific Journal, 9 (3): 1-14.

Wainner, S., Fritz, M. and Irrgang, J. 2003. Reliability and diagnostic accuracy of the clinical examination and patient self-report measures for cervical radiculopathy. Spine, 28: 52-62.


Yocum, T. and Rowe, L. 2005. Principles of Radiologic Interpretation. In: Darcy, P. ed. Essentials of Skeletal Radiology. 3 edn.Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 680-718.


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