I spent a few years being pretty inactive, using TOS as an excuse to not do much.
Seven months ago I began walking a half mile a day. I got increased aching and nervy zappers in my arms, neck, and head from walking, but I persisted and increased my distance slowly.
It felt good to accomplish something, one step at a time, an entire half-mile. It was an improvement. It was a start.
I decided I was going to have pain if I kept sitting on the couch, and I was going to have pain if I went for a walk. I might as well go walk- the fresh air would do me some good and walking might help in the long run.
So I've continued to walk.
The last few weeks I've been logging up to 20 miles per week on hilly dirt roads. With an earbud in one ear, mp3 player tuned to NPR or some peppy music, I take off and aim to complete my walking goal of the day. Around the block (3.5 miles)? To the end of the road and back (2.0 miles)? To visit a friend in town (3.0 miles). As I walk, I remember stories my grandma used to tell me (repeatedly) about walking to school 3 miles one way, uphill, in the snow. Does everyones grandmother tell that story?
Walking with my arms bent helps reduce the hand swelling a bit. I push myself to hit a 4 miles per hour pace. Nervy arm, neck, and head pain still increase after a mile or so, especially if it's colder or windy outside. I try to push through it, sometimes slow down for a bit, let my arms hang at my sides a while, then pick up the pace again.
I googled 'walking and hand swelling' and found it to be common and not just a TOS thing, due to restricted circuation. I open and close my fists a lot while I walk and grab a frozen o.j. can when I get back home.
I've found that if I push too much and walk too far I sometimes get more pain the next day, but if I'm inactive and skip walking a day or two I also get increased pain. Balance is key for me on my journey with TOS.
Some of the benefits of chosing to walk have been stress reduction, weight loss and connecting with a few neighbors I normally wouldn't.
So I'll keep walking, because even with TOS and it's glitches, I can.
*Stay tuned for a post about a walk I'm doing with a fellow TOSer soon, looking forward to that!
I'd love to walk a 5K Spring 2015 with a fellow TOSer...please email me if you're interested!!