Curb Chronic Neck Pain with Exercise

Published Online: Monday, September 1, 2003

    Relief may be in sight for women with chronic neck pain?neck-muscle exercises done as little as 2 times a week. In a new study, Finnish researchers looked at 180 female office workers at Jyvaskyla Central Hospital who reported constant or frequent neck pain. The participants underwent endurance training or strength training or were placed in a control group.

    The endurance-training group concentrated on exercises such as lifting the head while lying on the back or stomach. The strength-training group did high-density neck-strengthening exercises using an elastic band. Also, women in both of these groups used weights to strengthen the shoulder, back, and arm muscles and were encouraged to perform aerobic exercise. Control group participants were only encouraged to perform a 20-minute aerobic activity 3 times a week. After a year, women in the endurancetraining and strength-training groups saw a considerable reduction in average neck pain, compared with those in the control group.

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