Both endurance training and strength training reduced disability and pain in chronic nonspecific neck pain in women

November 2003
ACP Journal Club;Nov/Dec2003, Vol. 139 Issue 3, p75
Academic Journal
This article discusses whether intensive isometric neck strength training or lighter endurance training of neck muscles can reduce pain and disability in women with chronic non-specific neck pain. 180 female office workers 25 to 53 years of age who were permanent employees, had constant or frequently occurring neck pain for greater than 6 months, and were motivated to continue working and receive rehabilitation. Exclusion criteria included severe disorders of the cervical spine, frequent migraine, peripheral nerve entrapment, fibromyalgia, shoulder diseases, and inflammatory rheumatic diseases. Follow-up was 98% at 1 year. Women were allocated to 1 of 3 groups: strength training, endurance training and control. Training regimens consisted of 5 weekly 45-minute sessions for 12 days, with instructions for continuing the exercises at home. The strength group used an elastic band to do high-intensity, isometric neck-strengthening and stabilization exercises. The endurance group exercised the neck flexor muscles by lifting the head from supine and prone positions. Both groups used dumb-bells to do dynamic exercises for the shoulders and upper arms and ended the session with 20 minutes of stretching. The control group spent 3 days every 2 months at the rehabilitation center doing recreational activities. All 3 groups were instructed to do 30 minutes of aerobic exercise 3 times a week.


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