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DressageIsToDance 11-19-2011 01:56 AM

Jointed stirrups and back pain.
So I've got the worst back pain recently in my lower back. I'm not getting stiff, but when the pain comes on I know I get stiff. My trainer has really been trying to get me to focus on keeping my lower leg still and my heels down, but my calf muscles are too tight and my ankle just won't flex well, and the more I try to keep the legs still and heels down, the worse my back kills me and then I can't keep ANYTHING steady! :-x Very frustrating, and it also means we're stuck on the flat until my equitation there improves.

I was considering getting jointed stirrups to see if that would help my back pain. I really didn't want to, I feel like it's cheating, but I'm at my wits end...

Anyone have experience using them, and do they help back soreness?

Dreamcatcher Arabians 11-19-2011 03:09 AM

I'd recommend a Chiroprator to find out WHY you're having the back pain and maybe get some adjustments so that it's not a problem anymore, rather than trying to find equipment to mask the problem.

gypsygirl 11-19-2011 08:47 AM

jointed stirrups will really just make riding harder. you need something stable to sink your weight into, if you have jointed stirrups your knee and ankle are going to give as well as the stirrup and you wont be stable at all. ive seen a lot of people who end up just jamming their heel down in them, which is not correct.

Saddlebag 11-19-2011 09:35 AM

Dressage, you need to stretch the muscles up the back of your leg including your glutes. An easy way (dirt cheap) is to place a 2"x6" board, maybe a foot long, on the floor beside a solid chair for balance. Wearing shoes, put the ball of your feet on the board. You'll be bent over a bit with your bum sticking out and likely your knees are bent. OK, hold on to the chair and straighten up, keeping your heels on the floor. When you are fairly upright, (knees straight) pull your hips forward as far as you comfortably can then release. Feel it pull from your heels to your bum? Do a set of 10 for the first week then a set of 10 twice daily. Easy to do while watching the tube.

Jumper4ever 11-19-2011 10:26 AM

it is true that jointed spurs may make it even worse, but i love mine. I do have a pretty decent leg, but suffered from some knee and back pain and then found these stirrups Herm Sprenger 4-F Bow Balance Stirrup Irons < Jointed Stirrup Irons < Horse Tack|Dover Saddlery. i absolutely love them. I was already riding in jointed stirrups but these ones work like a miracle. good luck!

Shasta1981 11-19-2011 10:51 AM

I would definitely try to figure out why you are having back pain. Is it a sharp pain or a dull pain? If its a dull pain it could be that your core muscles arent strong enough or you aren't using them enough to support your back.

With that said, I have jointed irons and I really like them. Some people hate them though. I didn't pay for the super nice ones, I got a set for about $40 and they work well for me. I got them for ankle pain from an old soccer injury.

Speed Racer 11-19-2011 11:25 AM

Before you buy jointed stirrups, please get a physical and find out WHY your back is hurting. Jointed stirrups aren't a cure-all for aches and pains.

That being said, they CAN help if you have ankle/hip/knee pain. I've had one too many horse riding wrecks over the years and my lower back, hips, knees, and ankles have made it painful for me to ride in hard irons.

I switched over to jointed about 10 years ago, and now I can ride for hours with little pain, compared to only an hour before I have to get off the horse in hard irons.

Plus, if you decide to go jointed don't spend a lot of money on your first pair, in case you hate them. Jointed stirrups are one of those things you either love or hate; there doesn't seem to be any in between.

It's not 'cheating' to use jointed stirrups. I've seen many, many people using them in the show ring now.

Nothing that keeps you on a horse and riding should be considered 'cheating'. :wink:

tinyliny 11-19-2011 08:08 PM

Cheating? Well, I'm a cheater (Actually, I am).

Anyway, is this back pain a new thing? Unconnected to any change in tack? Are you excersizeing more or less than before the pain? It's possible that you are straining the lower back and gluteal muscles in part because the muslces that balance those , that run along the front of the body, have become underdeveloped in comparison to those that run along the back of the body.

There was an article a couple of issues back in "Dressage Today" about how the body has two systems of "fascia" and interconnected muscles/tendons/ligaments that act in balanced counter tension to keep our body standing and functioning in an upright stance. I wonder if one side of you is overworked, and the other (the front of your body) is underworked.

Just thinking out loud here.

DressageIsToDance 11-20-2011 02:59 AM

Well, here's the thing...I really can't afford the chiro, and I have no insurance... :(

I've always had back problems, and there are a couple of falls/throws that come to mind where I landed wrong and it really did damage. One about 4 years ago completely threw my back out. I'm almost 100% certain it's a disc that's causing my problems.

And it's not really "new", but I haven't had this kind of a problem until my last few rides. I've crossed over to hunters at the moment, and obviously I'm not riding in my dressage seat anymore. My stirrups have gone up and I'm also in a close contact - but, I've been doing this for almost 3 months now and it's just the last couple of rides. And I've been riding 3-4 days a week consistently. So it's not like it's an abrupt change.

It's more of a dull pain. It's actually more like a huge cramp...

Now, one thing that I HAVE been doing different is more two-pointing. I usually omit it (as I should not, especially since I'm hoping to improve my jumping) from my rides, but I've done more lessons than usual lately and my trainer insures I do plenty of it. I've also been jumping more lately too, although just crossrails at a trot, although she always gives a great effort and actually jumps them, rather than stepping. Sometimes a little more than necessary, LOL!

Shasta1981 11-22-2011 12:18 AM

I'm not a doctor, but from what I know of herniated discs, it starts as numbness in the arm or leg. And furthermore requires prescriptions if not surgery to repair. If you suspect that it is a herniated disc or any variation thereof, you should take the money you are ready to spend on jointed stirrups and put them towards a visit with your doctor. Not trying to be preachy but as per the advice of airliners, you need to apply the oxygen mask to yourself before helping your dependants. How can you really care for your horses if you don't take care of your own health? They need you. Take care of yourself. It's okay to take care of YOU.

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