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Working around physical limitations

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Old 12-11-2009, 09:30 PM   #1
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Default Working around physical limitations

Hi! I'm new here, so feel free to redirect me if a post like this already exists. I'm posting this to gain some advice to work into my own exercise schedule, but thought it would be good to discuss how to keep exercising despite physical limitations / injury / or everyday aches and pains.

The biggest issue for me is my neck. I have a disc problem that my chiropractor still isn't 100% sure what caused it or why it causes the issues it has before, but if I over stress my neck I deal with pain for weeks or I get headaches that persist for days. Two years ago it so bad I couldn't physically lift my right arm higher than shoulder height and caused awful displaced pain in my shoulder. It's been a long process, but months ago when my chiropractor told me to start working out again I was too scared to. I didn't want that pain anymore. Now I love exercising, I go to the gym daily, but I'm still rather cautious of doing upper body weights. Working my lower arms is fine, but anything that works upper back muscles, abs, or upper arms (which believe me, need work!) seems to upset my neck. I even have to avoid a lot of the lying on the floor exercises since it quickly hurts my neck, including crunches. The exception is water aerobics. So I'm wondering, are there upper arm and upper body exercises that are low impact on your neck?

Secondly, is knees, which I imagine is common for a lot of people. Only my right knee hurts during exercise. I've switched from the treadmills to elliptical machines to reduce the impact and also found that the leg lift weight machine is low impact on my knees but great on my muscles. I've read doing squats is supposed to be good as well, but they hurt. I also know that stretching is rather important, because if you don't stretch out your leg muscles it adds more pressure on your knees. Anything else?

Anyone else working around issues?

Advice is appreciated! Thanks!
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Old 12-12-2009, 02:46 PM   #2
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smiller -- I am facing similiar issues.

I fell and broke my wrist and then had surgery four weeks ago. Today was my first day back in the gym doing the stationary bike. It was so hard given that I'm still in pain and can't really hold onto the bike handles.

For knee issues I find the bike and elliptical best. Have you considered yoga? It maybe OK for your neck, but I would be cautious.
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