top of page

Neck Pain Care Pathway

Date of last update: February, 2024



Clinical Cornerstone: In every patient encounter, the essence of ongoing monitoring lies in its adaptive nature, continuously aligning and realigning the treatment plan with the patient’s evolving goals and feedback. This process is not just about tracking progress but ensuring that the care trajectory consistently meets the patient’s needs and objectives. It facilitates a patient-centric, goal-oriented approach throughout the care journey, including discharge and post-discharge phases, making the care pathway effective and personally meaningful.

  • Assess: Engage the patient in a conversation to assess their health status and case progression at each encounter.

  • Adjust the Treatment Plan: Regularly update the treatment plan based on patient feedback, outcome measures, and clinical judgment.

  • Additional Interventions or Referrals: Based on patient feedback and progress.

  • Align with Patient Goals: Regularly revisit patient's initial goals that were set during the first visit. Discuss progress towards these goals and address any barriers encountered. Adjust goals as necessary to reflect patient’s current needs and preferences.

Criteria for Discharge:

  • Establish clear criteria for discharge, which may include achieving specific milestones, reaching a plateau in progress, or fulfilling the patient's initial goals.

  • Discuss post-discharge plans, including self-management strategies, potential follow-ups, and strategies to prevent recurrence.

Conduct patient assessment

Red flags present

Red flags present

click to learn more

Refer to appropriate emergency or healthcare provider

  • Structured patient education

  • Exercise (strength, range of motion)

  • Manual therapies (e.g., spinal manipulation or mobilization, massage)

  • Low-level laser therapy

  • Psychological / social support

  • Medicines

  • Referral

Major symptom/sign change

Goals not achieved


Adjust treatment and management plan or refer

References or links to primary sources







Contact information for further inquiries or feedback


These care pathways are intended to provide information to practitioners who provide care to people with musculoskeletal conditions. The care pathways on this website are 'living' documents, reflecting the state of clinical practice and research evidence to our best knowledge at the time of development. As knowledge and healthcare practices evolve, these pathways may be updated to ensure they remain current and evidence driven. These pathways are not intended to replace advice from a qualified healthcare provider.

bottom of page