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Back and Neck Pain

Back and neck pain are common complaints, though neither is a specific disease diagnosis. Read more about the difference, symptoms and treatment options, resources for living with back and neck pain, and related research and publications.

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What is back and neck pain?

Back pain can range from a mild ache to disabling pain. Neck pain, also known as cervicalgia, is pain in or around the spine beneath your head, known as the cervical spine. Both are common complaints and account for the highest amount of health care. Both back and neck pain can wear us down physically and emotionally, limiting our daily activities and preventing us from enjoying normal everyday life. But the good news is there are steps you can take to improve your symptoms and treat them effectively.

Learn More About Back and Neck Pain

Resources to Learn More About Back and Neck Pain

Living with pain can quite literally be a “pain in the neck.” But most acute back and neck pain usually gets better without special treatment. For severe or chronic back and neck pain, special programs can be designed to help you manage disabling pain, return you to your highest level of functioning, and improve your quality of life.

To learn more about neck and back pain, browse a list of resources from the International Association for the Study of Pain relevant to people living with all kinds of pain conditions, such as factsheets, webinars, journal articles, and more.

Meet the Back and Neck Pain Expert

Meet Back and Neck Pain Expert, Dr. Michele Sterling

Michele Sterling, IASP Councilor and Chair of the Scientific Committee of the Australian Pain Society, graciously offered her time and expertise on the topic of back and neck pain to help curate the content on this page.


IASP is making an impact on Back and Neck Pain

The International Association for the Study of Pain is making an impact on the study of back and neck pain in several meaningful ways.

IASP named 2021 as the Global Year About Back Pain and dedicated their advocacy efforts to helping clinicians, scientists, those living with pain, and the public understand the nature of back pain and the utility of available treatment modalities.

Several Special Interest Groups (SIGs) advance and promote the understanding of back and neck pain. Check out the Musculoskeletal Pain SIG and the Pain, Mind, and Movement SIG.

You, too, can make an impact on neck and back pain. Join IASP today!