OBJECTIVE: To determine the effect of small daily amounts of progressive resistance training on rapid force development of painful neck/shoulder muscles.
METHODS: 198 generally healthy adults with frequent neck/shoulder muscle pain (mean: age 43.1 years, computer use 93% of work time, 88% women, duration of pain 186 day during the previous year) were randomly allocated to 2- or 12 min of daily progressive resistance training with elastic tubing or to a control group receiving weekly information on general health. A blinded assessor took measures at baseline and at 10-week follow-up; participants performed maximal voluntary contractions at a static 90-degree shoulder joint angle. Rapid force development was determined as the rate of torque development and maximal muscle strength was determined as the peak torque.
RESULTS: Compared with the control group, rate of torque development increased 31.0 Nm s(-1) [95% confidence interval: (1.33-11.80)] in the 2-min group and 33.2 Nm s(-1) (1.66-12.33) in the 12-min group from baseline to 10-week follow-up, corresponding to an increase of 16.0% and 18.2% for the two groups, respectively. The increase was significantly different compared to controls (P<0.05) for both training groups. Maximal muscle strength increased only ~5-6% [mean and 95% confidence interval for 2- and 12-min groups to control, respectively: 2.5 Nm (0.05-0.73) and 2.2 Nm (0.01-0.70)]. No significant differences between the 2- and 12-min groups were evident. A weak but significant relationship existed between changes in rapid force development and pain (r = 0.27, P<0.01), but not between changes in maximal muscle strength and pain.
CONCLUSION: Small daily amounts of progressive resistance training in adults with frequent neck/shoulder pain increases rapid force development and, to a less extent, maximal force capacity.