Used to be in great shape. But, ever since Eagles came into my life like the Kool Aid man through the wall I’ve taken a step back. I’m sort of curious… what exercise movements or activity tends to flair up your symptoms? What exercise movements or activity do you recommend?

For me it’s been ab crunch and oddly enough curls. Yes, I can see why abs would be painful as your head moves forward and back like a chicken. But, curls!? Common man.

One activity that is ok is the stair master and inclined treadmill. The lord may have taken away my shapely arms but has now blessed me with awesome calves.

How about you guys?

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Before surgery I had trouble gardening and bending down or squatting, I’d get dizzy and feel lightheaded. Heat and humidity made everything worse for me, add in strenuous activity and it was a bad combo. I had worse trouble hiking at a lot higher elevation (probably over 9,000 ft). And some days were just randomly worse than others. It was hard to do pretty much anything besides walking and occasional yoga.

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I was doing lots of cycling but that position I think contributed to a bulging neck disc, which I think then caused the vascular ES symptoms. Any aerobics aggravated my neck too, even Tai Chi as I was never very good at staying relaxed & that tension would play things up! So did lots of walking!
If you look at this discussion by vdm, he’s put some pics on about the neck muscles; I think looking at those you can see how doing curls could put strain on them & therefore aggravate the styloids:
Question for those with military/straight neck (loss of cervical lordosis) - General - Living with Eagle

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Yeah you nailed it. Heat and humidity are a new enemy of mine. Did these get better after surgery? How long did it take you to notice an improvement.

Thanks for the reply!

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These diagrams are pretty good at illustrating how upward motion curls have a downward motion on the neck muscles. Thanks Jules!

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I also had to reduce my exercise due to ES symptoms. I had joined a small private gym in the couple of years prior to my ES symptoms starting, & once diagnosed found, at some point, I could no longer do any exercises that caused neck tension as it would make my blood pressure drop, heart race, cause breathlessness, & I would feel like I was going to pass out. That’s pretty limiting as most upper body exercises (except legwork, as you noted) use your neck in some way or the other.

I started riding my bike more for aerobic exercise then had a terrible cycling accident between my two ES surgeries. Can’t tell you to this day what happened, but I think I might have blacked out because my cycling head position caused my remaining styloid to cut off circulation to my brain?! Guess I’ll never know. Needless to say, I’ve had a tough time getting back on my bike & doing any significant mileage. Now I just do long miles of hiking. Safer to keep my feet on the ground. :joy:

For me exercise is the only thing that seems to relieve some of my symptoms. I don’t have anything scientific to back this up but it almost seems like increasing my blood flow with cardio relieves some of the pressure in my head. It’s either that or the discomfort from exercise distracts me from the normal pain I’m in. I run on the treadmill, use a rowing machine and do weights. I’ve been streaming the Peloton and Apple Fitness workouts and they’ve been great.


@stuuke i actually had noticed this in the past too. If I wasn’t over exerting myself it seemed to help and that was my theory as well that increasing blood flow must do something.


@Loumango I’m only two months out so hard to know for sure but it does seem to have improved. I haven’t been in any terrible heat but so far so good.