by Alan Jordan
Neck pain is a troublesome and stressful condition that affects many patients in varying ways. We took a look at the ways that clinicians measure the neck pain that a patient feels in an earlier blog. Now we are going to investigate how doctors measure the impact of neck pain on a patient’s ability to perform activities at work and in their everyday life.
Every patient encounters differing levels of pain and finds that the neck pain can affect their life in different ways. This means that different types of treatment are appropriate, depending on each individual patient’s problem.
Subhead: Assessing how neck pain affects the patient
In order to help doctors to quantify the impact on a patient’s life, medical researchers have developed Disability Scales, which allow them to compare the clinical effects of different neck pain treatments.
The Neck Disability Index and the Copenhagen Neck Functional Disability Scale, are the most well known scales and the NDI (Neck Disability Index) is the most commonly used in English-speaking countries.
The patient will be asked to answer questions relating to the impact their neck pain is having on their life, such as:
- Can you drive a car without discomfort?
- Can you sleep without neck discomfort?
- Can you work at your desk without neck discomfort?
The answers to these questions help the clinicians to measure how severe the neck pain is and see what effect it is having on their patient’s life. It can then help the doctor to devise an individual treatment plan that will be more effective for the patient. As the treatment progresses, the scales can be used again to monitor if the treatment is helping to ease the patient’s neck pain and improving their quality of life.
Tools such as these allow us to constantly improve our care here at Broadgate Spine & Joint Clinic and we are always actively developing new instruments that help us to measure the effectiveness of the treatments we provide.
To read more about how the impact of neck pain is measured, click here.