I (Dr. Yost) am going to attempt to make a research article on neck pain understandable for the layperson.  If you just want to know the #1 risk factor for developing recurrent neck pain scroll to the last paragraph now.  Otherwise, please read my brief summary of key points below.

In September 2015 one of the most prestigious journals published research on 545 neck pain patients 1 year after chiropractic care.  Key points from this article (courtesy of Dr. Dan Murphy, DC)

  • 10% of participants were identified as “recurrent. “  Meaning they had additional episodes of neck pain.
  • 90.9%  of the participants did not experience recurrent episodes within 1 year of a course of chiropractic intervention.
  • The study suggests that a course of chiropractic care for neck pain has a 90% success rate of avoiding recurrences over the following 12 months.
  • The study showed the 2 greatest risk factors to recurrent neck pain are “older age” and a previous episode of neck pain.  Those who have experienced neck pain (and not sought treatment for their first episode) are likely to have a recurrence within the next 1-5 years (unless under chiropractic care).
  • Prognosis is quite poor, unless under chiropractic care.
  • Those who do not recover from neck pain within 3 months of initiating treatment will likely suffer residual pain and disability (unless under chiropractic care).

Key risk factors for neck pain

  1. Computer work
  2. Heavy physical work
  3. Chronicity
  4. Increasing age (over 45)
  5. Females more likely than males
  6. History of a prior neck injury

The key risk factor for RECURRING neck pain

  1. Not initiating chiropractic care for the first episode.