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Clinical course of neck pain in chiropractic patients

The study aims to classify non-specific neck pain into clinically meaningful subgroups based on data collected by SMS for 1 year, and potential prognostic factors at selected points throughout the study. Data will be compared to already tested clinical prediction rules, and if appropriate, strengthen these.

Woman with neck pain

What is the course of pain and daily dysfunction in chiropractic patients suffering from neck pain? Photo: Colourbox


The main objective of this project is to describe the course of pain and daily dysfunction in chiropractic patients suffering from neck pain.

About the Project

To achieve better understanding of the expected prognosis for neck complaints, pain and dysfunction is collected weekly to determine how it develops over time. In this manner both the turning point for improvement and the expected natural variation in pain over time can be established. Identifying which personal, clinical and treatment factors may predict the different trajectories will help give improved insight into effective guidelines for treatment.


To date there are no guidelines for treatment of acute and/or chronic neck pain as there are for low back pain. Most research is based on non-specific neck pain being a homogenous group, when the group is most likely more heterogenous.

Studies on low back pain have mapped the development of pain over time by frequent measurements into so-called trajectories, or course based on duration and intensity of pain. In the general population it appears to be three overall groups; more or less pain free, fluctuating/episodic pain, and more or less chronic pain. It is feasible that patients who react differently to treatment represent different pathologies and clinical or psychosocial profiles, both related to pain and dysfunction.

Analysing the profiles with potential prognostic factors should help making the group more homogenous, and improve already existing prognostic models, which can later be assessed in clinical studies.


  • The Norwegian Research Foundation for Chiropractors (EliB)
  • European Chiropractors Union|s research fund


  • Private chiropractic chiropractors from the Norwegian Chiropractic Association

Start and finish

April 2015 - Estimated finish 2019

Published June 22, 2016 11:00 AM - Last modified Feb. 13, 2017 12:16 PM


Project leader: Nina Køpke Vøllestad


Detailed list of participants