A finish research team published an article last year on the effect of strength and endurance training of neck muscles, on chronic neck pain, in a group of office workers. This study published in the Journal Health and Quality of Life Outcomes (also found in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning) found that increased neck muscle training was associated with a reduction in neck pain. It concluded that specific neck muscle training should be completed at least twice each week and continued for up to 12months.
After an injury such as whiplash, or pain from poor postures at your desk, the deep neck ‘stabiliser’ muscles can become weak due to the ‘big/global’ muscles being in spasm and taking over. This inhibits the small and very crucial stabiliser muscles from working together properly and over time they develop significant weakness. These muscles are called your ‘deep neck flexors’ and their role is to maintain your head in a neutral position.
The upper trapezius muscle also plays a role in neck pain. Quite often people have depressed shoulders or one shoulder lower than the other due to the upper trapezius muscle being long and weak. This causes overactivity of the levator scapulae muscle which originates in the neck. The levator scapulae then pulls on the upper vertebrae of the neck leading to neck pain and stiffness.
If you suffer from chronic neck pain contact the friendly staff at Physionorth and our therapists will assess your neck problem and see if you have weakness in your neck muscles or a neck muscle dysfunction problem. They can help you strength up your neck muscles with specific exercises and a home program to help your individual problem.
Jaquie Goldsack (Cole)
Source: Health and Quality of Life Outcomes 2010, 8:48