The Effect of Two Different Types of Physical Exercise Programs on Work Related Neck-Shoulder Pain Intensity, Range of Motion and Muscle Strength in Female Blue-Collar Workers

Simona Margelytė, Laimonas Šiupšinskas


Research background. During the rapid development of science and technology in the world, number of people suffering from pain in the neck-shoulder complex is increasing. Musculoskeletal disorders are influenced by non-ergonomic adaptation of the workplace, rapid decline in physical activity and other factors. The research aim was to evaluate the effect of stretching and strengthening exercises on work related neck/shoulder pain, muscle strength, range of motion in female blue-collar workers. Methods. The study involved 16 participants with neck-shoulders complex pain. The women were aged between 35–55 years. Participants rated their worst neck-shoulder pain during the previous week on a numerical rating scale from 0 to 10. Participants’ active range of motion of neck and humerus movements were measured with a goniometer, latent trigger point pain thresholds was measured with an algometer and muscle strength of upper trapezius, scalenus and sternocleidomastoideus muscles was evaluated with a dynamometer. The frst group (stretching exercise group) consisted of 9 participants, the second group (strengthening exercise group) – of 7 participants. Results. After 5 weeks stretching and strengthening exercise programs, the changes were statistically signifcant in both groups. Comparing pain intensity and muscle strength between groups, statistically signifcant changes were found in muscle strengthening group. Statistically signifcant latent trigger point pain threshold and range of motion changes were found in both groups (p < 0.05). Before the study, differences were found between the groups that could have had an effect on the results. Conclusion. Muscle strengthening exercises are more effective for blue – collar workers reducing muscular pain, increasing muscle strength and functional ability. Muscle strengthening exercise had a greater influence of pain intensity and muscle strength then stretching exercises.

Keywords: neck-shoulder pain, stretching exercise, strengthening exercise.

Full Text: