In this age of computer keyboards and late-night Web surfing, you may be no stranger to neck pain. So here's what you do if you want it to get better: strength train.
A new study reveals that toning and strengthening the problem areas may be the best way to keep your neck feeling loose and lovely.
Oh, My Aching . . .
Neck pain — technically dubbed trapezius myalgia — is a common complaint of computer lovers. So Danish researchers recently set out to find a good solution. They assigned 42 office workers with neck pain to one of three different treatments. And after 10 weeks, the strength-training approach won head and shoulders over cardio exercise or health- and stress-management counseling. Their specific program of exercises targeting the neck and shoulders zapped neck pain by a whopping 50 percent.
Time to Hit the Gym?
If your trapezius is troubling you, don't trot off to the gym just yet. First, speak with your doctor to make sure that what you're experiencing is simple neck pain and not something more serious. Then, together you can decide what the best treatment is for your case. The strengthening group in the study was assigned five different kinds of neck and arm exercises — like arm rows and reverse flys — several times a week. But you should discuss with your doctor what kinds of exercises might make sense for you. (Find out about some of the possible causes of chronic neck pain.)