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Neck and back pain: Musculoskeletal disorders

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[Note: this article discusses pain generation arising in muscle, tendon, ligament, intervertebral disc, articular cartilage, and bone – as opposed to pain disorders arising in the nervous system.]

Journal: Neurological Clinics. 2007 May;25(2):419-38.

Authors and affiliations: Meleger AL, Krivickas LS. Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Harvard Medical School and Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.

PMID: 17445737

In this article, non-neurologic causes of neck and back pain are reviewed.

Musculoskeletal pain generators include muscle, tendon, ligament, intervertebral disc, articular cartilage, and bone.

Disorders that can produce neck and back pain include muscle strain, ligament sprain, myofascial pain, Fibromyalgia, facet joint pain, internal disc disruption, somatic dysfunction, spinal fracture, vertebral osteomyelitis, and polymyalgia rheumatica.

Atlantoaxial instability and atlanto-occipital joint pain are additional causes of neck pain.

Back pain resulting from vertebral compression fracture, Scheuermann's disease, spondylolysis and spondylolisthesis, pregnancy, Baastrup's disease, sacroiliac joint dysfunction, and sacral stress fracture is discussed.

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