Whether you work outside climbing telephone poles or sit in front of a computer
all day, neck and shoulder pain seems to be common in every profession. Different
methods are used to help ease the pain and recover--rest, ice, heat, popping the
neck vertebra, or popping some over-the-counter pain relievers. What should you
do to help with neck pain?
Exercising those muscles with strength training, stretching, and cardio will
do the trick, say researchers.
New study addresses neck pain
For years, doctors have recommended to patients with chronic neck pain to begin
actively moving the muscles to "loosen" them. Researchers set out
in 2003 to see if this advise was the best course of action.
Female workers with non-specific neck pain were divided into three groups of
60 to test three methods of treatment, and they followed for a year. One group
did nothing and took the "time will heal" approach, one group performed
light exercise and increased activity--lifting the head from tilted to up, and
the other training group performed high-intensity isometric strengthening exercises.
The two training groups lifted weights with dumbbells to strengthen the upper
body. They also added stretching and aerobic training three times a week.
The "rest it" group did improve some during the 12 month study. The
two groups that used exercise improved significantly. Getting the muscles active
with light exercise helped, but the high-intensity training group that strengthened,
stretched, and performed cardio improved substantially more than the others.
Perhaps there's a lesson in this research for other painful muscle groups.
Activity is a great place to start, and a necessary first step. However, the
research is clear, high-intensity training offers the greatest results!
If you would like to discuss this article click the link below.
Phil Campbell, M.S., M.A., FACHE