Prevalence and morbidity of neck pain: a cross-sectional study of 3000 elderly men

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: The purpose of this study is to determine the prevalence and morbidity of neck pain with or without cervical rhizopathy, upper extremity motor deficit and/or thoracolumbar pain in elderly men. Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional questionnaire study of 3,000 community-dwelling older men with a mean age of 75.4 ± 3.2 years (range 69–81) to determine if they had experienced neck pain with or without cervical rhizopathy/upper extremity motor deficit/thoracolumbar pain (yes/no) during the preceding 12 months, and if so, morbidity with the condition (no/minor/moderate/severe). Results: Among the participants, 865 (29%) reported they had experienced neck and 1,619 (54%) thoracolumbar pain. Among the men with neck pain, 59% had experienced only neck pain, 17% neck pain and cervical rhizopathy and 24% neck pain, rhizopathy and motor deficit. For men with only neck pain, the morbidity was severe in 13%, for men with neck pain and rhizopathy it was 24%, and for men with pain, rhizopathy and motor deficit it was 46% (p < 0.001). Among the men with neck pain, 23% had experienced only neck pain and no thoracolumbar pain; the remaining 77% had both neck and thoracolumbar pain. The morbidity was severe in 10% of the men with neck pain but no thoracolumbar pain and 30% in men with neck and thoracolumbar pain (p < 0.001). Conclusion: Neck pain in elderly men is common but symptoms and morbidity vary. For men who only have neck pain, 1/8 rated their morbidity as severe, while almost half who also had cervical rhizopathy and motor deficit and almost 1/3 of those who also had thoracolumbar pain reported severe morbidity.

Original languageEnglish
Article number36
JournalJournal of Orthopaedic Surgery and Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2023 Dec

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Physiotherapy

Free keywords

  • Ageing
  • Elderly
  • Epidemiology
  • Men
  • Motoric symptoms
  • Musculoskeletal pain
  • Neck pain
  • Population-based
  • Rhizopathy
  • Thoracolumbar


Dive into the research topics of 'Prevalence and morbidity of neck pain: a cross-sectional study of 3000 elderly men'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this