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Chronic Neck Pain Improved by Strength Training – Study from Denmark

 Chronic   Neck   Pain

A new study has found that specific strength training locally of the neck and shoulder muscles led to significant prolonged relief of neck muscle pain,   while general fitness training resulted in only a small amount of pain reduction.

Led by Gisela Sjøgaard and Lars L. Andersen of the National Research Centre for the Working Environment in Copenhagen,  Denmark,  the team conducted the investigation on only women since women are more likely to suffer from persistent neck pain.

Each of the 94 women in the study underwent a clinical exam to confirm a diagnosis of trapezius myalgia,   muscle pain in the trapezius muscle,   which extends along the back of the neck.   

  Then they were assigned to three intervention groups.    One group had no physical training in the study.     The second group did high intensity general fitness training.     The third group that did supervised specific strength training exercises for the neck and shoulder muscles showed a marked decrease in pain over a prolonged training period and with a lasting effect after the training ended.     They found the reduction in pain occurred gradually as the muscle strength increased.

The authors of the study concluded that supervised high-intensity dynamic strength training of the painful muscle 3 times a week for 20 minutes should be recommended in the treatment of trapezius myalgia.

Source: Science Daily

Journal article: “Effect of Two Contrasting Types of Physical Exercise on Chronic Neck Muscle Pain,” Lars L. Andersen, Michael Kjær, Karen Søgaard, Lone Hansen, Ann I. Kryger, Gisela Sjøgaard, Arthritis Care & Research, January 2008; 59:1; pp. 84-91.

 Trapezius Muscle

The trapezius muscle in the large superficial muscle at the back of the neck and the upper part of the thorax, or chest.    Trapezius gets its name from its trapezium-like shape when looking at both muscles at once:   the corners being the neck,  the two shoulders, and the thoracic vertebra, T12.

The upper portion of the trapezius can be developed by elevating the shoulders. Common exercises for this movement are shoulder shrugs and upright rows.     Middle fibers are developed by pulling shoulder blades together.    Best exercises for this movement are rowing exercises and deadlifts.      The lower part can be developed by drawing the shoulder blades downward while keeping the arms almost straight and stiff.    

To read  which exercises  strengthen the trapezius muscle visit Wikipedia.

Lady Sharon,
Scribe of the Knights of the Pain Table News

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2 Responses to “Chronic Neck Pain Improved by Strength Training – Study from Denmark”

  1. George GRAMA says:


  2. Lady Sharon says:

    Dear George,

    Thank you for sharing your video. It is always a pleasure.

    Lady Sharon
    Scirbe of Camelot