Description of Common Clinical Presentations and Associated Short-Term Physical Therapy Clinical Outcomes in Patients With Neck Pain.

Journal Article (Journal Article;Multicenter Study)

OBJECTIVE: To determine the effect of clinical presentations of neck pain on short-term physical therapy outcomes. DESIGN: Retrospective analysis of pair-matched groups from a clinical cohort. SETTING: Thirteen outpatient physical therapy clinics in 1 health care system. PARTICIPANTS: Patients (N=1069) grouped by common clinical presentations of neck pain: nonspecific neck pain (NSNP) with duration <4 weeks; NSNP with duration >4 weeks; neck pain with arm pain; neck pain with headache; and neck pain from whiplash. INTERVENTION: Conservative interventions provided by physical therapists. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Neck Disability Index (NDI) and numerical pain rating scale (NPRS) recorded at the initial and last visits. The main outcome of interest was achieving recovery status on the NDI. Changes in NDI and NPRS were compared between clinical presentation groups. RESULTS: Compared with patients presenting with NSNP >4 weeks, patients with NSNP <4 weeks had increased odds of achieving recovery status on the NDI (P<.0001) and demonstrated the greatest changes in clinical outcomes of pain (P≤.0001) and disability (P≤.0001). Patients with neck pain and arm pain demonstrated an increased odds of achieving recovery status on the NDI (P=.04) compared with patients presenting with NSNP >4 weeks. CONCLUSIONS: Treating patients with NSNP within <4 weeks of onset of symptoms may lead to improved clinical outcomes from physical therapy compared with other common clinical presentations.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Horn, ME; Brennan, GP; George, SZ; Harman, JS; Bishop, MD

Published Date

  • October 2015

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 96 / 10

Start / End Page

  • 1756 - 1762

PubMed ID

  • 26166733

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1532-821X

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.apmr.2015.06.012


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States