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Turning Your Head Could Become a Pain in the Neck

Studies have shown that approximately 70 percent of people are afflicted with some form of neck pain at some point in their lives; 5 percent to 10 percent suffer neck pain that is debilitating.

However, the symptoms associated with "nonspecific" neck pain - pain not associated with injury, disorder, or tissue degeneration - have not been studied extensively.

In a recent study in the journal Spine, researchers examined 40 adults, ages 19-42, with no prior neck injuries or treatment, to study the structural composition of the neck and its relation to pain. Volunteers were tested for neck-muscle endurance, range of motion, and extension, and questioned about their history of recurrent neck pain or discomfort.

More than one in three (35%) of the study participants reported experiencing neck pain/discomfort weekly or more frequently, with duration of symptoms lasting from 30 minutes to 48 hours per occurrence. In these subjects, neck muscle endurance, neck extension and range of motion were significantly reduced compared to the remaining 26 subjects - those without reported neck pain.

The bottom line, according to the authors, is that physical limitations involving neck movement and endurance may be early signs of neck pain. Before any of that happens, make an appointment with an expert in preventing and managing musculoskeletal pain and associated limitations - a doctor of chiropractic.

To learn more about musculoskeletal conditions and the benefits chiropractic can provide, visit


Lee H, Nicholson LL, Adams RD. Cervical range of motion associations with subclinical neck pain. Spine, Jan. 1, 2004:29(1), pp33-40.