The Epidemiology of Neck Pain

, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, Wis.

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In This Article

General Population

Even with the limitations mentioned above, some information -- mostly from Scandinavian countries -- is available. Neck pain occurs half as often as low-back pain[3] and is slightly more common in women. In Norway, Bovim and colleagues,[4] in a random sample of 10,000 persons ages 18-67 years, found a prevalence of 13.8%. In a similar study in Finland, Makela and associates[2] discovered neck pain in 9.5% of males and 13.5% of females. The United States' National Center for Health Statistics reported 7.0% of men and 9.4% of women had neck pain in the period between 1976-1980.[3] In addition to neck pain being more common in women, Makela[2] also found that older patients, those involved in both mentally and physically stressful jobs, and current smokers were more likely to have neck pain.

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