After six months of daily neck pain, my doctor sent me to a chronic pain clinic. They gave me a test called the NDI. Can you tell me what the letters stand for and what the test shows?

There are many tests available to help doctors understand their patients better. Some tests help describe the kind of pain the patient is having. What causes it? What makes it better or worse? How severe is it? How long does it last?

Other tests measure the patient's quality of life, level of depression, or disability. The Neck Disability Index (NDI) score helps identify how limited the patient sees him or herself from the neck pain. This is a scale of perceived impairment.

It specifically measures how much the patient's daily activities are affected by the neck pain. The patient is asked about pain intensity and affect of pain on concentration. Other questions look at personal care, work, lifting, and driving. Recreational activities are also included.