Three groups of subjects with neck pain: One group did specific strength training (SST) for the neck and shoulders, the second group did high-intensity general fitness training (GFT) on a bicycle, and the control group did nothing.
The results: The GFT group showed a small decrease in neck muscle pain only immediately after exercise; the SST group showed a marked decrease in pain with a lasting effect after the training ended. The control group had no change.
A quote from the study, Strength Training Of Neck Muscles Relieves Chronic Pain: “The reduction in pain occurred gradually in the SST group, with trapezius muscle pain gradually decreasing as muscle strength increased. Although the GFT decreased the pain only temporarily, the authors note that even minor decreases in pain may be enough motivation to overcome barriers to exercise, and the resulting increase in fitness may benefit overall long-term health.”