Neck pain with radiculopathy.
Bhagawati D., Gwilym S.
INTRODUCTION: Non-specific neck pain has a postural or mechanical basis and affects about two-thirds of people at some stage, especially in middle age. Acute neck pain resolves within days or weeks, but may become chronic in about 10% of people. Whiplash injuries follow sudden acceleration-deceleration of the neck, such as in road traffic or sporting accidents. Up to 40% of people continue to report symptoms 15 years after the accident, although this varies between countries. METHODS AND OUTCOMES: We conducted a systematic overview, aiming to answer the following clinical questions: What are the effects of surgical treatments for neck pain with radiculopathy? What are the effects of injection treatments for neck pain with radiculopathy? What are the effects of drug treatments for neck pain with radiculopathy? We searched: Medline, Embase, The Cochrane Library, and other important databases up to September 2014 (Clinical Evidence overviews are updated periodically; please check our website for the most up-to-date version of this overview). RESULTS: At this update, searching of electronic databases retrieved 368 studies. After deduplication and removal of conference abstracts, 226 records were screened for inclusion in the overview. Appraisal of titles and abstracts led to the exclusion of 142 studies and the further review of 41 full publications. Of the 41 full articles evaluated, four systematic reviews and one RCT were added at this update. We performed a GRADE evaluation for three PICO combinations. CONCLUSIONS: In this systematic overview, we categorised the efficacy for three interventions based on information about the effectiveness and safety of drug treatments, injection treatments, and surgical treatments.