Background: Objective outcome measures reflecting the level of effectiveness of care is a clinical imperative for practitioners dealing with neck and back pain. It is widely recognised that there is no relationship between physical pathology, pain and disability. Traditional measures of function such as range of motion and strength, on their own, are no longer sufficient when assessing treatment outcomes.
Objective: Five patient-based objective outcome tools for measuring pain and four for measuring disability are outlined with a view to encouraging their use when managing back and neck pain.
Discussion: All of the outcome measures presented in this review have a high clinical utility when managing patients with neck and back pain. That is, they have been shown to be valid and reliable as well as being easy to administer and score.
Keywords: Outcome measures, back pain, neck pain, disability