The Relationship Between Cervical Radiographic Findings and Pain

What is the relationship between radiographic findings and neck pain and disability? This study took the cervical radiographic findings from 675 patients, and compared this information to self-reported pain and disability ratings to try to find an answer to this question.

The researchers examined the cervical spine radiographs, and recorded all evidence of degenerative findings; the study reported that most degeneration was found at C5, C6, and C4—in order of decreasing frequency. Interestingly, the authors found that spinal degeneration was not related to a history of neck trauma—although patients with a history of trauma reported more pain and disability than non-trauma patients.

The study also reported that those patients with spinal degeneration were more likely to experience chronic neck pain.

Marchiori DM, Henderson CNR. A cross-sectional study correlating cervical radiographic degenerative findings to pain and disability. Spine 1996;21(23):2747-2752.