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Effect of physical training on pain sensitivity and trapezius muscle morphology

PainSci » bibliography » Nielsen et al 2010
Tags: neck, muscle, exercise, muscle pain, head/neck, spine, self-treatment, treatment, pain problems

One article on PainSci cites Nielsen 2010: Strength Training for Pain & Injury Rehab

PainSci commentary on Nielsen 2010: ?This page is one of thousands in the bibliography. It is not a general article: it is focused on a single scientific paper, and it may provide only just enough context for the summary to make sense. Links to other papers and more general information are provided wherever possible.

In this experiment, 62 women (40 with shoulder pain, 20 without) participated in either a general exercise program or specific strength training for their shoulders. Pain tolerance and strength increased response to strength training in the women who started out with pain. In those who had no pain to begin with, both general exercise and specific exercise training were beneficial.

~ Paul Ingraham

original abstract Abstracts here may not perfectly match originals, for a variety of technical and practical reasons. Some abstacts are truncated for my purposes here, if they are particularly long-winded and unhelpful. I occasionally add clarifying notes. And I make some minor corrections.

The objective of this study was to investigate morphological and physiological characteristics of painful muscles in women with (MYA, n=42) and without (CON, n=20) trapezius myalgia, and assess changes in response to a 10-week, randomized, controlled trial. MYA accomplished: (1) specific strength training (SST); (2) general fitness training (GFT); or (3) reference intervention (REF).

Differences in muscle morphology could not be detected by ultrasound imaging. Significantly lower pressure pain threshold (PPT) and shoulder torque were observed for MYA, indicating pain-related lack of full activation. After 10 weeks, increased shoulder torque and PPT of the painful trapezius were observed in SST solely. The PPT of a pain-free reference muscle was increased in response to both SST and GFT, indicating a general effect of physical activity on pain perception. This study shows clinically relevant improvement in pain sensitivity and muscle strength capacity in response to SST.

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