Neck pain affects more and more people every day. Over the past 20 years, the number of patients suffering from neck pains has increased significantly. According to the WHO, Neck pain is one of the most common musculoskeletal problems along with back pains.
Women are more at risk of persistent and continuous neck pains than men. Especially women whose work is characterized by repetitive movements, such as those working on computer keyboards, suffer more frequently from neck pains.
Previous research has looked at whether physical activity is able to effectively treat neck pains. The results, because they were opposed, did not allow definitive conclusions to be drawn. This may be because not enough high-level research work has been done on the issue. It is generally accepted though that by straightening your trapezius muscles you can make your neck area ”tougher”. We suggest checking these best exercises for traps that will help you strengthen that particular group of muscles.
To shed more light on this frequent problem, researchers from Denmark conducted a progressive, randomized therapeutic trial involving 94 women from different workplaces. The type of work the women performed included repetitive movements on trap lines and office work. 79% of women used a keyboard for more than 75% of their working time.
The participants initially replied about the pain they were suffering from. They were then subjected to a clinical examination to confirm the diagnosis of myalgia of the trapezius muscle. The trapezius muscle extends along the back. Pains from the trapezius muscle are responsible for neck pains especially in people who work with monotonous repetitive movements such as on a computer.
The participants in the survey were divided into three groups. One group of women received targeted treatment with special exercises to train and strengthen the muscles of the neck and shoulders.
The second group followed an intensive general physical activity program with the help of an ergometric bicycle.
The third group of women (control group) received only health advice without following a physical activity program. Both groups that followed a physical activity program did their exercises for 20 minutes at a time, 3 times a week for a total of 10 weeks.
Analysis of the results showed that the group that followed the intensive general exercise program showed a slight decrease in neck muscle pains only after exercise.
In contrast, in the group of women who followed the program with special exercises to train and strengthen the neck and shoulder muscles, a significant reduction in neck pains was observed over a period of time throughout the program. In addition, the positive results lasted after the end of the exercises.
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It is noted that in the research it was shown that pain in the group of women with exercises of the neck muscles and shoulders, neck pain gradually decreased while pain in the trapezoidal muscle was reduced by increasing the strength of that muscle. That is, the increase in the strength of the trapezoidal muscle was accompanied by a decrease in pains.
The conclusion of Danish doctors is that special muscle strengthening exercises, locally in the neck and shoulders, is the most effective treatment for women suffering from chronic neck pain due to muscles.
Regarding the intensive general physical activity program, the researchers point out that although it achieved only a transient reduction in neck pains, however, the benefit was significant and motivated women to continue their intensive physical training. In addition, regular general physical activity can offer a lot for long-term health.
The significant reduction of neck pains with special exercises to train and strengthen the muscles of the neck and shoulders, is of great clinical importance.
Based on their results, Danish doctors recommend that, as for neck pains associated with myalgia of the trapezoidal muscle, it be done under the supervision of a specialist, intensive training program and strengthening of the sore muscle, lasting 20 minutes at a time for 3 times a week.