PURPOSE: This study investigates the acute and longitudinal effects of resistance training on occupational muscle activity in office workers with chronic pain. METHODS: 30 female office workers with chronic neck and shoulder pain participated for 10 weeks in high-intensity elastic resistance training for 2 minutes per day (n = 15) or in control receiving weekly email-based information on general health (n = 15). Electromyography (EMG) from the splenius and upper trapezius was recorded during a normal workday. RESULTS: Adherence to training and control interventions were 86% and 89%, respectively. Compared with control, training increased isometric muscle strength 6% (P < 0.05) and decreased neck/shoulder pain intensity by 40% (P < 0.01). The frequency of periods with complete motor unit relaxation (EMG gaps) decreased acutely in the hours after training. By contrast, at 10-week follow-up, training increased average duration of EMG gaps by 71%, EMG gap frequency by 296% and percentage time below 0.5%, and 1.0% EMGmax by 578% and 242%, respectively, during the workday in m. splenius. CONCLUSION: While resistance training acutely generates a more tense muscle activity pattern, the longitudinal changes are beneficial in terms of longer and more frequent periods of complete muscular relaxation and reduced pain.
Biomed Research International, 2013, Vol 2013
Adult; Chronic Pain; Female; Humans; Middle Aged; Muscle, Skeletal; Neck; Resistance Training; Shoulder; Managers and employees at universities, research institutions etc.