Neck Pain Prognosis
Prognosis is a term used to indicate the predicted, likely course, or expected development of a condition relevant to a specific period of time. Due to the mutifactorial nature of neck disorders, it is often difficult to provide a neck pain prognosis.
Neck pain is one of the most common musculoskeletal disorders, with an estimated 1-year prevalence of 31.4% to 35.6% of adults in the general population. The duration of neck pain can be characterized by periods of getting worse and periods of improvement, however, just a minimal segment of the population finds a solution which completely resolves symptoms inside of 12 months.
A substantial proportion neck pain sufferers will therefore acquire persistent neck issues. The meaning of persistent or chronic varies involving research; indicted to be either 3 months (8.7% to 17.8%) or 6 months (8% to 13.8%).
An important question is whether we can identify patients at risk of persistent complaints at the first consultation with the physician, based on their personal characteristics? These details may be beneficial for a health care provider to acquire awareness involved in neck pain prognosis, and could assist with educating patients regarding anticipated progress. Moreover, this could assist research workers in selecting individuals with higher risk for scientific studies involved with avoidance of chronic neck pain.
Some studies have been conducted based on characteristics associated with persistence of neck complaints in the general population. Characteristics identified as a predictor in more than 1 studies were age, duration of complaints, previous episode of neck pain, pain intensity, physical functioning, and accompanying lower back pain. However, none of the studies constructed a prediction model that quantifies a specific neck pain prognosis.
This form is an attempt to duplicate the results of a study which developed and externally validated a prediction guideline which estimates the likelihood of symptoms persisting for a minimum of six months in patients consulting their physician for nonspecific neck pain.
The results from the example given in the appendix of the study differed by 1 point in the form, however, the results were the same percentages for prognosis. Therefore, this form gives an approximation of prognosis based on the study referenced below.
NOTE: This form gives an estimation for the likelihood of your neck pain symptoms continuing for a minimum of six months for those individuals consulting with a health care provider for a nonspecific type of neck pain. Please answer each section by checking the ONE CHOICE that most most closely describes your condition right now.
After answering the items click on the ‘Submit‘ button. The results will show the Percentage Score or Range of Percentages of your neck pain lasting for at least 6 months.
This form is based on a randomized controlled trial published in SPINE.
Total Score Probability that neck problems will still be present at 6 months after the first consultation.
According to the study, “The score chart predicts significantly better for every patient if he/she will develop persistent complaints, than estimates for the overall population. This makes the score chart informative for patients and physicians and facilitates future research in patients with high risk of developing chronic neck pain.”
We tend to allow symptoms to persist for a while before seeking help. It is very important to recognize risks and factors that complicate or contribute to persistence of pain. Chronic neck pain should be avoided if at all possible. All attempts should be to reduce or arrest symptoms prior to becoming chronic. Chronic pain brings a different aspect of consequences regarding physical and mental function. Therefore, a reasonable neck pain prognosis can help foster knowledge to prevent chronic pain conditions. It can be used as a guide to help direct treatment goals as well as alterations and motivational aspects of compliance.