Back/Joint Problems - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 13 Old 04-24-2010, 01:12 AM Thread Starter
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Back/Joint Problems

I've never met another sixteen year old that cracks as much as I do. It's mostly my back, but also my ankles/knees/hips (the hips are LOUD), and I was wondering about your guys' experiences with that, related with riding?

With me I find that...

Every time I bend my back at all, it lets out a series of 'cracks' and I can't sit still for longer than a few minutes, because it gets sore and aches and just feels bad.

I was told once that my hips weren't aligned right, and that I ride 'lopsided', and ever since she 'tried to correct it' my right hip cracks so loudly/randomly that I get a lot of weird looks.

I've had my fair share of falls and what have you, but nothing serious, do you find that with general riding this happens, and is it worth it to get it checked out/dealt with by means of a chiropractor?
I wonder if my insurance (er... parent's insurance) covers this.
alexischristina is offline  
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post #2 of 13 Old 04-24-2010, 01:35 AM
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I would probably get it checked if I was you... I wouldn't want to end up getting arthritis somewhere when I got older. I personally think that riding is bad for some joints in your body, but that's just been a guess, I don't know for sure. But yeah, if this stuff happened when you started riding, the I would make sure you're okay to keep riding!
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post #3 of 13 Old 04-24-2010, 11:07 AM
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I have athritis, I was diagnosed with it a year ago when I was 15, and cracks are not good, my joints never used to crack or click before i got arthritis. It doesn't happen when I ride, but my left hip tends to click randomly.

I'd get it checked out if I were you, by a doctor at first, i was told by my rheumatologist that my joints were clicking because 'my body dynamics were off'. Since it affected my left knee I was balancing completely different than i used to and that was making my joints click. But now I'm on medication and my knee's a load better and the clicking's got less..

Just get it checked out, there's no harm in just seeing!
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post #4 of 13 Old 04-25-2010, 01:07 AM
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Originally Posted by alexischristina View Post
Every time I bend my back at all, it lets out a series of 'cracks' and I can't sit still for longer than a few minutes, because it gets sore and aches and just feels bad.
I'm sort of the same way, and pretty much always have been (and I'm quite a ways past 16 ), though I don't seem to crack as loudly as you describe. I have trouble sitting still, and especially with standing in one place. I always need to stretch and move.

I'd suggest doing yoga to keep things loose & flexible. I've been doing it off & on since my teens, and it works. Where most people have trouble bending down to touch their toes, I can put my palms flat on the floor - even if it does make my back crack when I'm doing it.
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post #5 of 13 Old 04-25-2010, 09:50 AM
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My back cracks like crazy too, but I have lots of back problems. I've broken my tailbone twice and have pinched nerves/herneated discs in my upper back. I've gone to multiple doctors, had physical therapy, etc and they all say I can just control the pain by doing daily exercises since I don't want to be taking pain medicine all the time. I've also been told that if I keep riding I'll most likely get degenerative spine (it runs in the family too), but I still continue to ride almost every day of the week.

I also have a knee that cracks really loudly every single step I take. Both my knees ache occasionally also, especially during rainy weather. I think it might be arthritis, but I'm not sure.

I personally have never been to a chiropractor. I've heard that once you start going it's hard to stop.
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post #6 of 13 Old 04-25-2010, 12:29 PM
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My own personal view is that back ache is the true cost of riding horses.

Find a good sports physio therapist, preferably one who rides, and discuss with him/her the dynamics involved. The lower back takes tremendous punishment when riding - particularly if your 'seat' is incorrect.

In the old days riders were taught to do various exercises to make the body supple and to prepare it for riding. Posture is everything.

I find that Pilates helps - indeed there are Pilates exercises specifically designed for horse riders - but you need to find a good instructor

But do not confuse pain from horse riding with pain derived from sitting in front of a computor screen for hours.

But at 16??? Sounds a bit young to me - go see the physio.
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post #7 of 13 Old 04-25-2010, 10:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Barry Godden View Post
My own personal view is that back ache is the true cost of riding horses.
I thought maybe it would be good because it improves your posture and what not?
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post #8 of 13 Old 04-25-2010, 11:09 PM
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I realize this doesn't help a problem that already exists, but basically if you're using your back in order to ride properly, it means you're not using your core or stomach muscles enough. If you build up your stomach muscles, it will take a lot of stress off your back. The back should be supple and acting as a shock absorber, not holding you in place.

You just have to see your don't have to like it.
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post #9 of 13 Old 04-26-2010, 04:06 AM
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Horse riding should lead to muscular backs but only if the rider's posture is correct.

Next time you are out with a group of riders, watch them from behind at walk and trot. Some tip left, some tip right, some lean forwards. Some hold their heads at an angle. Watch them at trot but also at the same time watch the feet in the stirrups. Eventually you can recognise a friend by the way he/she sits in the saddle.

Again back in the old days , it was typical for young ladies to learn to walk properly, that is upright with the spine aligned in the correct position. Some were told to practice by walking around the room balancing a book on the top of their heads.

If a rider gets into the habit of dropping a hip or slouching on the saddle then the muscles, tendons and ligaments come out of the ideal alignment. Then the back aches start.

We have a physio or two on the Forum - this subject is one on which they need to comment. All I know is that my back aches stem from sitting incorrectly in the saddle.

Before ever getting on a horse, the novice should be shown, with the help of diagrams and perhaps a mechanical horse how to sit properly. Most folks new to riding will then have to build up the muscles to support the correct posture. The older you are to start horse riding, the more difficult it becomes to learn to sit correctly because your muscles have already formed a pattern of use which maybe incorrect.

After every fall, the rider's back, hips and pelvis should be checked for misalignment. In any case the rider's back should be checked from time to time as matter of routine.

But I am no expert, I know only about the principles from bitter and painful experience - you need advice from an expert. Find a sports physio - they are the experts


PS I watched the manageress of an Indian restaurant walking across the floor the other week. As she walked she maintained an absolutely superb, straight, upright, posture. I asked if she rode horses - she didn't but as a young woman she had been taught to walk correctly. My guess is that she would have made a superb dressage rider. (It is a good job I am an old man)
xxBarry Godden is offline  
post #10 of 13 Old 04-26-2010, 05:01 PM
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the people with the hips should get your si joints checked. This IS a common problem for peolenwho do lots of lifting heavy things and turning (stall mucking, tacking up, carrying buckets.). Basically, your hip joint comes out of your pelvis, which can cause your back to be out of alignment and all the problems with standing and sitting discomfort. A good chiro should e able to help get you back in place and show you stretches to keep you balanced. I have this problem and am saving up to get fixed. Yoga can also help if the problem isn't too far gone.

For more info, google sacro-illiac joint.
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