Neck Pain - Epidemiology

A systematic critical review of neck pain in the global population reveals average prevalence as follows:

  • Point prevalence: 7.6%.
  • One-week prevalence: 12.5%.
  • One-month prevalence: 23.3%.
  • Six- month prevalence: 29.8%.
  • One-year prevalence: 37.2%.
  • Lifetime prevalence: 48.5% (Fejer, R., et al. 2005).

Prevalence is generally higher in women (Hoy, D., et al 2010).
Prevalence is higher in high-income countries than in low- and middle-income countries (Hoy, D., et al 2010).
Prevalence is higher in urban areas than rural areas (Hoy, D., et al 2010).
Most studies indicate that there's an increased risk of developing neck pain until the 35-49 age group, after which the risk begins to decline (Hoy, D., et al 2010).
Neck pain is the fourth leading cause of disability (Cohen, S. P., 2015).
Most episodes of acute neck pain will resolve with or without treatment, but nearly 50% of individuals will continue to experience some degree of pain or frequent occurrences (Cohen, S. P., 2015).

1 - Cohen, S. P. (2015). Epidemiology, diagnosis, and treatment of neck pain. Mayo Clinic Proceedings, 90(2):284-99.
2 - Fejer, R., Kyvik, K. O., & Hartvigsen, J. (2005). The prevalence of neck pain in the world population: a systematic critical review of the literature. European Spine Journal, 15(6): 834–848.
3 - Hoy, D., Protani, M., & Buchbinder, R. ( 2010). The epidemiology of neck pain. Best Practice & Research: Clinical Rheumatology, 24(6):783-92.