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Chiropractic Research Review

Neck Pain and Headaches in College Students

Neck pain (NP) and headaches (HA) are common causes of work disability, and evidence suggests that in many cases the two conditions are related. The maintenance of static postures, such as with prolonged reading, writing, or computer work may be contributing factors for both.

A recent survey of 118 college students was conducted to determine the self-perceived effect of NP and HA on their academic performance.

Students who indicated that they did not have NP or HA were assigned a score of zero for the corresponding index. For students who had either condition, the corresponding index was calculated by multiplying the typical severity of the condition (on a scale of 1-10) by its typical frequency (0-7 days a week), yielding a number between 0 and 70. Students grade-point averages (GPAs) were also recorded and compared to NP and HA indices.

Results showed that the one-year prevalence for NP was 63.3%, and for HA was 94%. NP and HA affected many students (51.3% and 73.7%) and their concentration in class (48.7% and 75.4%). Also, 17.9% of the students with NP, and 39% of students with HA, said their academic performance was affected.

Conclusion: NP and HA appear to be more common among college students than the general population. These findings suggest a similar degree of disability from these conditions may occur in students as in workers.

Rose K. The effect of neck pain and headaches on the academic performance of college students. Journal of the Neuromusculoskeletal System 2000:8(4), pp. 118-122. Reprints: Tel: (800) 342-0454; Fax: (410) 494-0515

Chiropractic Research Review

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