Train To Control Pain

According to a study supported by the Danish Medical Research Council, around 50% of female office workers report neck pain. Two thirds of those experiencing neck and back pain were found to be suffering from trapezius myalgia, an increasingly common affliction involving the muscle extending from the back of your head, down the neck to your upper back. Researchers believe that strengthening the trapezius muscle can reduce associated aches and pains.

Forty-two female office workers were recruited with one group assigned to do 3 sets of 3 exercises 3 times a week. They could chose from dumbbell rows, upright rows, shoulder abductions, shoulder elevations and reverse flyes. The rest cycled on stationary bikes for 20 minutes per session, 3 days a week. After 10 weeks, the strength training group reported a 50% reduction in pain.

The Bigger Picture: Why didn't the cardio group realize the same benefits? Their capacity for rapid force production did not improve like it did for resistance training subjects. The weight lifters ended up building more Type II muscle fibers, which are important for generating power. Researchers speculated that enhancing the body's ability to rapidly activate muscle helps reduce muscle pain.
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