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Exercise Programs Reduce Neck and Arthritis Pain

Benefits seen from specific strength training exercises and basic PACE program

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Workers with chronic neck pain may benefit from neck-specific strength training exercises, and people with arthritis may see some improvements in symptoms and strength from the basic eight-week People with Arthritis Can Exercise (PACE) program, according to two studies published in the Jan. 15 issue of Arthritis & Rheumatism: Arthritis Care & Research.

Lars L. Andersen, of the National Research Centre for the Working Environment in Copenhagen, Denmark, and colleagues randomly assigned 48 women with chronic neck pain to either 10 weeks of localized strength training for the affected muscles or a general training program. The investigators found that specific training -- but not general training -- led to prolonged decreases in pain scores.

Leigh F. Callahan, Ph.D., of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and colleagues randomly assigned 346 patients to either PACE or no intervention. They found that PACE modestly improved symptoms and strength, but did not improve function or increase exercise endurance and physical activity.

"The program was well received by the participants and instructors in a variety of communities," Callahan and colleagues write. "For more substantial benefits, frequency and intensity may need to be increased."

Abstract - Andersen
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Abstract - Callahan
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