Neck & Shoulder pain - The cross trainer

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!