Neck pain

Neck pain is a common complaint resulting from disorders of any muscles, nerves and bones in the neck. The pain can be work-related (e.g. due to neck muscles that are strained due to poor work postures such as hunching over a computer or work bench) and non-work-related (e.g. due to a driving accident in which a car is rear-ended, resulting in whiplash). IWH research seeks to determine the work-related risk factors for neck pain, how many workers report it, and how to best treat it to ensure a safe and timely recovery and return to work.

Featured

A man sitting on a couch holds his shoulder in pain
At Work article

IWH study finds 7 in 10 injured workers still experience pain more than a year after injury

A high proportion of injured workers in Ontario experience persistent pain for well over a year after their work-related injury. According to an IWH study of workers' compensation lost-time claimants, 70 per cent of workers experience pain 18 months after their work injury.
Published: September 30, 2022
A man sitting on a couch holds his shoulder in pain
At Work article

IWH study finds 7 in 10 injured workers still experience pain more than a year after injury

A high proportion of injured workers in Ontario experience persistent pain for well over a year after their work-related injury. According to an IWH study of workers' compensation lost-time claimants, 70 per cent of workers experience pain 18 months after their work injury.
Published: September 2022
IWH in the media
IWH in the media

Rethinking Pain - A CRAM Ideas Podcast episode

Why do we feel pain long after an injury has healed? Do I feel pain differently than you? How does culture affect our perception of pain? And what’s the most effective way to treat the pain that doesn’t stop? CRAM Ideas host Mary Ito speaks with Dr. Andrea Furlan, a leading expert on pain.
Published: March 2022
Japanese craftsperson stands in front of his workstation, smiling
Sharing Best Evidence

What workplace interventions help workers with MSDs, pain and mental health conditions return to work?

This update of a previous systematic review sets out to find workplace-based interventions that are effective in helping workers with musculoskeletal, pain-related and/or mental health conditions return to work.
Published: December 2019
Man in white t-shirt holds neck
Research Highlights

Work absenteeism and recurrent neck pain

A small but important minority—14 per cent—of injured workers experience recurrent neck pain, accounting for 40 per cent of all lost-time days due to neck pain, according to a study of claims made to Ontario’s Workplace Safety and Insurance Board.
Published: January 2011
Research Highlights
Research Highlights

Five non-surgical neck pain treatments work equally well

A study of five non-surgical treatments for neck pain — nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), Cox-2 inhibiting NSAIDs, exercise, mobilization, and manipulation — found no one treatment option for neck pain was found to be clearly superior when both benefits and harms were considered.
Published: November 2008
At Work article
At Work article

International task force reports on neck pain

Read about some of the findings from the Bone and Joint Decade 2000-2010 Task Force on Neck Pain and Its Associated Disorders.
Published: February 2008
Research Highlights
Research Highlights

Neck pain common among adults, review shows

The first review summarizing studies about the impact and causes of neck pain in the general population finds it a common condition. Risk factors include age, gender and genetics, as well as smoking, exposure to tobacco, and psychological health.
Published: January 2008