In this supplement of Spine, the results of a unique project, The Bone and Joint Decade 2000–2010 Task Force on Neck Pain and Its Associated Disorders, is published. This multidisciplinary, international Task Force, which was formed in 2000, has consisted of an executive committee, a scientific secretariat, an advisory committee together with research associates and graduate students. These groups involved more than 50 people. Committee members were based in 9 countries and represented 14 different clinical and scientific disciplines. Moreover, the Task Force was affiliated with 8 universities and research institutes in 4 different countries. Eleven professional organizations have been non-financial sponsors. Thus, the Task Force represents a unique gathering of international expertise covering all relevant aspects related to neck pain and its associated disorders. The Task Force has made an impressive systematic review of the vast literature in this field and a best evidence synthesis, which has resulted in 21 chapters in this supplement. The chapters cover aspects such as epidemiology of neck pain, risk factors for neck pain, prevention of neck pain, course and prognosis of neck pain, as well as assessment of and treatments for neck pain, both noninvasive and invasive. Moreover, there are 4 chapters on research studies and presentation of a new conceptual model for neck pain as well as presentation of a new classification system for neck pain. One chapter deals with the need for and outlines areas for future research in this field.
Considering the huge impact of neck pain on individuals, health care systems and society at large, and the lack of systematic knowledge in this field, the work by the Task Force represents a milestone achievement which will be of major significance and importance for patients, the medical profession, the health care system, researchers, research funding agencies, and insurance companies. All of the co-authors of this supplement should be congratulated on completing this major undertaking. The results of the work by The Bone and Joint Decade 2000–2010 Task Force on Neck Pain and its Associated Disorders fill a large knowledge gap and can be expected to lead to enhanced understanding of all aspects of neck pain and related disorders, ultimately resulting in improved diagnostic and treatment modalities for patients with neck pain and its associated disorders.