During the study, researchers conducted a randomized controlled trial with 94 women from seven workplaces in Copenhagen, Denmark, between 2005 and 2006. Participants were questioned about their neck pain and underwent a physical exam to confirm the diagnosis of trapezius myalgia.
Participants were assigned to three intervention groups: those who did supervised strength training for the neck and shoulders, those who did high-intensity general fitness training on an exercise bicycle, and a control group with no training.
The study showed that the general fitness training produced a small decrease in neck muscle pain only immediately after exercise, while the supervised strength training group showed a decrease in pain over a prolonged period.
The authors state that the reduction in pain in the strength training group is important. They conclude that, "Based on the present results, supervised high-intensity dynamic strength training of the painful muscle 3 times a week for 20 minutes should be recommended in the treatment of trapezius myalgia."