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.