About 10 years ago, I suffered from fairly severe neck pain.
I had two bulging discs in my neck which limited my mobility and caused pain that ran down from my neck through my shoulder and sometimes down my arm. My doctor suggested I get a cortisone shot and told me that if that did not work that I would need surgery.
Now, I hate all things having to do with doctors and hospitals.
Ffamily, friends and doctors were tired of hearing me complain. After some cajoling, I relented and had the cortisone shot. I have had cortisone shots before both for tennis elbow and knee pain but this was a whole different experience. Because they shoot the cortisone into your spine it is a much more involved process.
First it took 4 hours, second I was not allowed to drive to or back from the hospital and third they completely immobilized me so I could not move or twitch while getting the shot. The shot helped reduce the pain but did not totally alleviate it. The experience was traumatic enough that I vowed afterwards that I was not going to go through that ever again.
I stopped doing the things that had aggravated my neck in the first place.
No more lifting weights over my head, no more carrying heavy purses or bags on my shoulder and no more sitting at the computer for hours on end not moving.
It was the last that showed me how much walking could help heal my neck. I was working in an office at the time and started making sure that I got up and moved every hour or so.
At lunch I would go outside and walk for 30 minutes or so. After work I would walk another 30 minutes. I began to notice that the pain in my neck was gradually going away.
I don’t know if it is the motion of swinging my arms when I walk that helped my neck or just the fact that I was moving and not sitting that helped. But here I am 10 years later without having had another shot or surgery.
I now take frequent walks through the day which has not only helped my neck but has improved my overall physical fitness. As always, you should check with your health care provider before beginning any exercise regimen, but if you are having neck pain . . . try walking.