Chiropractic + Naturopathic Doctor

Industry News – Thera-Band exercise may provide pain relief

Maria DiDanieli   


July 5, Akron,
OH – A study presented at the 58th Annual Meeting
of the American College of Sports Medicine and 2nd World
Congress on Exercise  Medicine showed a
50 per cent incidence of reduced neck and shoulder pain among desk workers
using a single, simple exercise.

Neck pain combined with shoulder
pain is a common problem among desk workers, particularly those using a desktop
computer. Lars Andersen, PhD, and his colleagues in Copenhagen, Denmark,
completed a randomized controlled trial of 198 office workers with neck and
shoulder pain, and tenderness to palpation and found that using a Thera-band
elastic band to do simple exercise reduced this pain in 50 per cent of the
office workers studied. 


The trial utilized Thera-Band
Elastic Tubing with handles for an exercise routine using only one exercise for
either two or 12 minutes. The subjects were randomly assigned to either a
non-exercising control group, a two-minute exercise group, or a 12-minute
exercise group. The exercise groups performed a lateral raise with the arm
slightly in front of the body while using elastic tubing for resistance.The
exercises were performed five days per week—10 minutes a week in the two-minute
group; 60 minutes per week in the 12-minute group—for 10 weeks. Female
participants started with Red (medium) Thera-Band resistance tubing, while the
male participants started with Green (heavy) tubing. Both groups gradually
increased their repetitions and resistance to Blue (extra heavy) Thera-Band
resistance tubing. The two-minute group performed the exercise for one set to
failure, that is, with as many consecutive repetitions as possible. The
12-minute group performed five to six sets of eight to 12 repetitions in a
progressive manner. 

After 10 weeks, both exercise groups
significantly reduced their neck/shoulder pain and tenderness, and
significantly increased their strength compared to the control group. There was
no significant difference between the exercise groups. Training adherence was
approximately 65 per cent for the exercise groups. The researchers concluded
that as little as a single set of two-minute Thera-Band exercise to failure can
significantly reduce pain and tenderness in office workers with neck/shoulder

The study was published in Pain 2011; 152(2) and
was titled, Effectiveness of small daily
amounts of progressive resistance training for frequent neck/shoulder pain:
Randomised controlled trial.

The study stated that subjects were excluded if
they had a medical history of cardiovascular or cerebrovascular accident,
fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, cervical disc prolapse, whiplash, other
serious traumatic injury of the neck or shoulder, other serious chronic
disease, pregnancy, worked fewer than 30 hours per week, or performed more than
two hours per week of vigorous physical exercise. Also excluded were subjects
were the following were observed during the physical examination: blood
pressure above 160/100, a positive foramen compression test; subacromial
impingement syndrome; or pain of the shoulder, elbow, or wrist during resisted
shoulder abduction resulting in severe discomfort for the participant. 

“Although regular physical exercise
is a cornerstone for wellness programs, adherence to comprehensive exercise
remains low,” noted Dr. Andersen. “So we set out to develop an exercise program
that was as simple and feasible as possible.” 

“These findings have implications
for both employees and employers,” continued Dr. Andersen. “A simple resistance
exercise program performed two minutes a day can significantly reduce
neck/shoulder pain in office workers, potentially leading to improved
productivity and reduced healthcare costs.” 


For more information on purchasing
Thera-band products, please visit

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