Neck&Shoulder Pain – “un”common causes – Part 2 – The cross-trainer

The second part of our Neck & Shoulder pain series – the “un”common causes is about a famous fitness device which you might have at home.

Part 2

The cross-trainer (or elliptical trainer)

Keeping fit can spell injury for some. One piece of equipment which has brought in some clients is the cross-trainer (also known as the elliptical trainer). It is a stationary exercise machine which simulates walking or running without any impact on the joints.

No impact, no injury -right? Not quite, as it seems. Yes, sure there is not pressure on the joints which you would normally get while pounding the pavement but what about the way you have to hold these machines? I have never personally used one myself but just looking at the way these things are designed explains why my clients are suffering.

The handle bars are too high and makes the arm swing in an unnatural way, in no way simulating the normal arm swing during walking and running. I would presume that most people using these machines would grip the handles too tightly. Add in the arm swing and do it for a prolonged period. The neck and shoulder  muscles become strained.

This doesn’t mean that you should stop using the cross-trainer if you enjoy it – just don’t use the handgrips! Staying fit is important – but do it in the right way!

Author: Souri’s Myotherapy & Massage - Souri Sengdara

Link to Part 1- The iPhone

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