A few years ago I was performing clinical tasks while receiving training for work; there was a lifting incident, and I herniated two discs in my neck.
I was laid up for a couple of months, and the injury took several more months to heal properly; I was 38 years old at the time and had been still quite physically active leading into the injury.
Nearly a year after the initial injury I was rear-ended by a drunk driver, causing a partial relapse with my neck problem. Since then my physical activity level has steadily declined, and I've become more and more out of shape. I wasn't overweight at all, but I had grown soft and would become winded with a lot less cardio exertion.
My right arm had been severely affected with my neck injury (throbbing pain, and alternating burning, tingling, and numbness radiating down my arm into my fingers), and I am right handed.
It's been very difficult to get on any kind of strength training regimen, because too much exertion with my right arm would/will cause problems with my neck; the first, but certainly not the least, is severe insomnia (from neck discomfort lasting all night). This causes me many problems, naturally; especially with my performance at work.
But in February I was determined to 'turn over a new leaf': I quit smoking, made some modifications to my diet, and began an exercise regimen. You guessed it... the neck flared up.
I was successful at quitting smoking, and with the diet modifications; but I had to stop the new exercise routine. I've since gained 12 pounds and have been afraid to start a new program involving ANY kind of strength training (I did get a bike, and I'm liking it pretty well).
This is a quandary for me... I need to gain strength and muscle--especially in the right trapezius/lateral neck area in order to give the discs some support reinforcement (for future neck health), but it seems ANY kind of serious exertion aggravates it.
I could really use some help with this.
Thanks for your time.
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