March 6, 2014 — A study recently published in BioMed Research International showed a 40-percent decrease in neck and shoulder pain intensity and a 6-percent increase in isometric muscle strength for participants in a 10-week, two-minute daily elastic resistance training program.
The study, conducted at the National Research Centre for the Working Environment in Copenhagen, Denmark, investigated the effects of resistance training on occupational muscle activity in 30 female office workers with chronic pain.
“The increase in the number of individuals working in sedentary careers coupled with their time spent in front of a computer increases the time of static body postures and repetitive movements of the arm, shoulder and hands, which has been associated with the development of musculoskeletal disorders,” stated Lars L. Andersen, PhD, researcher with the National Research Centre for the Working Environment. “This has both individual and social consequences as neck and shoulder pain has been show to increase the risk for long-term absence from work. Females may be at higher risk due to the differences in work tasks, work techniques and possible lower muscle strength. Review of previous studies show that women with a history of neck pain are the strongest predictors for the development of neck pain for those working with computers, thus our study included only female participants.”
This 30-participant study is nested in a larger randomized control trial of 198 participants. That trial utilized TheraBand Elastic Tubing with handles for an exercise routine using only one exercise for either two or 12 minutes and participants were randomly assigned to either a non-exercising control group, a two-minute exercise group, or a 12-minute exercise group. The exercise groups performed a lateral raise with the arm slightly in front of the body while using elastic tubing for resistance. After 10 weeks, both exercise groups significantly reduced their neck/shoulder pain and tenderness, and significantly increased their strength compared to the control group. There was no significant difference between the exercise groups.
For this recent 30-participatnt analysis, half of the workers participated in the daily two-minute training program while a control group of 15 received weekly e-mail information on general health. The researchers were particularly interested in the mechanisms of pain reduction in the group performing a single set of exercises to failure within two minutes and the resulting EMG measurements. These time-consuming daily measurements were not possible within the larger trial.
After the 10-week program, the researchers concluded that the single set of two-minute TheraBand exercise to failure can significantly reduce pain and tenderness in female office workers with neck/shoulder pain.
Source: Performance Health