Neck Disability Index (NDI)

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About the Score

Originally published in 1991 in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, the Neck Disability Index (NDI) is an instrument to measure patient-reported disability secondary to neck pain. It was developed utilizing the Oswestry Low Back Pain Index as a model and therefore, at the time of its creation, was distinguished from other simpler pain assessments by examining patient function with respect to activities of daily living.

This 10-item tool may be useful in patients with chronic neck pain and those with musculoskeletal problems or cervical radiculopathy. The NDI is the most popular self-report scale for neck pain patients.

Average time to complete: 3- 10 minutes.

Use the following EVALUATION FORM to evaluate your patient and PRINT THE FORM when the evaluation is completed.


  • NDI can be used as a raw score or a percentage score.
  • A higher score indicates that the patient evaluates the level of functional decline as higher.
  • Minimum detectable change (with 90% confidence): 5 points or 10%. (Reference)

Supporting Literatures:

Original Literature:

  • Vernon, Howard, and Silvano Mior. “The Neck Disability Index: a study of reliability and validity.” Journal of manipulative and physiological therapeutics 14.7 (1991): 409-415.

Additional Literature:

  • Young, Brian A., et al. “Responsiveness of the Neck Disability Index in patients with mechanical neck disorders.” The Spine Journal 9.10 (2009): 802-808.
  • Young, Ian A., et al. “Reliability, construct validity, and responsiveness of the neck disability index, patient-specific functional scale, and numeric pain rating scale in patients with cervical radiculopathy.” American journal of physical medicine & rehabilitation 89.10 (2010): 831-839.
  • Vernon, Howard. “The Neck Disability Index: state-of-the-art, 1991-2008.” Journal of manipulative and physiological therapeutics 31.7 (2008): 491-502.

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