Content » Vol 40, Issue 7

Original report

Functioning in neck and low back pain from a 12-year perspective: A prospective population-based study

Anders Thelin, Sara Holmberg, Nils Thelin
DOI: 10.2340/16501977-0205


Objective: The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of unspecific neck pain and low back pain at a given time (1990–91) with respect to physical and social functioning and role limitations due to emotional problems 12 years later.
Methods: A rural male study population (2351 individuals) was established in 1989 and a first survey conducted in 1990–91. A follow-up survey was performed in 2002–03. A total of 1405 persons participated in both surveys. Functioning and role limitations in 2002–03 were evaluated using the SF-36 instrument. Several possible confounders were included in the analyses.
Results: Unspecific neck pain or low back pain in 1990–91 was shown in a multivariate longitudinal regression model to be significantly related to limited physical (odds ratio (OR)=2. 08; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1. 51–2. 87) and social (OR=1. 92; 95% CI 1. 33–2. 75) functioning 12 years later. The effects were only slightly modified by the confounders analysed. However, higher education independently and significantly predicted a low risk for functional limitations.
Conclusion: Non-specific neck pain and low back pain at a given time impacted on the risk of limited physical and social functioning many years later. Current symptoms of depression and anxiety at the time for the second survey had a high impact on functional limitations.

Lay Abstract


Do you want to comment on this paper? The comments will show up here and if appropriate the comments will also separately be forwarded to the authors. You need to login/create an account to comment on articles. Click here to login/create an account.