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Eur Spine J. 2015 Mar;24(3):482-92. doi: 10.1007/s00586-014-3567-5. Epub 2014 Sep 11.

Prevalence of neck and low back pain in community-dwelling adults in Spain: an updated population-based national study (2009/10-2011/12).

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Department of Physical Therapy Occupational Therapy Rehabilitation and Physical Medicine Departamental II, Despacho 1056. Facultad Ciencias de la Salud, Universidad Rey Juan Carlos, Avenida de Atenas, s/n. 28922, Alcorcón, Madrid, Spain,



To estimate time trends in the prevalence of neck (NP) and low back pain (LBP) from 2009 to 2012; and to determine the socio-demographic features, self-rated health status, co-morbidity, lifestyle-related habits, and health care service associated with NP and LBP in Spanish adults.


The European Health Interview Survey for Spain (2009) and the Spanish National Health Survey (2011).


A total of 43,072 subjects were included. We analyzed data collected from the European Health Interview Survey for Spain conducted in 2009 (n = 22,188), and the Spanish National Health Survey in 2011 (n = 20,884). We considered the presence of isolated NP, LBP and both (NP&LBP). We analyzed socio-demographic features; self-perceived health status; lifestyle habits; comorbid diseases, and professional treatment using logistic regression models.


The prevalence of isolated NP, LBP and NP&LBP increased from 2008/9 to 2011/12 (7.86 vs. 8.56 %; 5.18 vs.5.44 %; 10.61 vs.11.12 %, respectively). Being female, increased the probability of isolated NP and NP&LBP, but decreased the probability of LBP. The prevalence of all pain localizations increased with older age, lower education level, poor self-rated health, smoker, comorbidities, psychological distress (anxiety or depression), hospital and physiotherapist visits and consumed drugs for pain, in 2008/9 as compared to 2011/12. Moreover, LBP, and NP&LBP were associated with obesity, whereas NP&LBP was associated with being married.


The prevalence of LBP, NP and NP&LBP had increased in the last 3 years in Spain.

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