Effectiveness of small daily amounts of progressive resistance training for frequent neck/shoulder pain: randomised controlled trial.
The socioeconomic consequences of chronic disorders in the neck and shoulders in terms of disability, sick leave, and early retirement are tremendous. Though regular exercise is a cornerstone in rehabilitation programs, the adherence to exercise in daily life remains low due to lack of time. This RCT investigates the effectiveness of small daily amounts of progressive resistance training for relieving neck/shoulder muscle pain (NSMP) in adults with frequent symptoms.
198 adults with an anamnestic history of NSMP (>176 days with pain in the previous year on average) were included and equally assigned to a 2min exercise group, a 12min exercise group and a control group. Exercisers performed shoulder abductions every workday using an elastic tube. The 2min group performed a single set to failure; the 12min group performed 5-6 sets of 8-12 repetitions, while the control group received general health information during the 10-week intervention. Outcome measures were pain intensity (scale 0 to 10), palpable tenderness, and isometric muscle strength by means of dynamometry at 10 weeks.
As opposed to the control group, pain intensity and tenderness significantly decreased, while muscle strength significantly increased in both exercise groups, and no difference was found between both training groups. This finding of 2 minutes of daily progressive resistance training for 10 weeks resulting in clinically relevant reductions of pain and tenderness may be relevant for the majority of people with NSMP worldwide, demonstrating that an overall goal of therapists should be the encouragement of their patients to exercise on a daily basis > From Andersen et al., Pain 152 (2011) 440-446. All rights reserved to Elsevier B.V.
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