Horse riding and neck pain. Your views please
I am writing a series of articles on musculoskeletal problems suffered by horse riders.
Your stories viz type of pain, whether riding makes it worse or better, and treatments you have had would be of interest.
Thank you very much.:D
Dr Les Bailey
Dr Les Bailey phd, DO, Acopm, Apta
I've suffered from back pain almost my entire life. When I was in high school is when I really messed it up. During my second year of weight lifting while I was maxing out on my squat (about 250 lbs. if I remember right) I nearly blew out my back and my spotter had to take the bar off of me. I saw a chiropractor regularly after that and did back strengthening exercises and stretches to deal with my sciatic nerve (it would get pinched regularly and sometimes it will still lay me out). Riding has never really hurt my back, if anything I think it has strengthened it. If you ride "correctly" I believe it strengthens not only your back but your core as well which gives the previous more support. Don't get me wrong, my back still acts up from time to time but not nearly as much as it use to, I like to think ridding has helped me with that.
I really struggle with my neck! I have been to physio's, chiro's and just massages, but nothing seems to help. I have recently started seeing someone who does shiatsu, and that seems to help a little. Although, the only thing that really helps is when a pop a few painkillers after riding before I go to bed. It will usually stay sore for 2 - 3 days and then go away until I go for another ride. It gets so bad that I get these terrible headaches right behind my eyes!
I used to have bad backpain as well, but that seemed to clear up when I got myself a new mattress.
I find that going for a ride at a walk is very helpful for a sore or stiff back. If I must trot or canter a lot, then it can bother my back, especially a lot of cantering seated.
Not sure exactly what type of info you are looking for? I have a bulging disc, have for years, and find that most of the time, it is ok, I take NSAIDS all the time anyway, but, if the horse does something silly, like spook, etc-it may be more sore than usual. I also have actually stopped riding my draft cross, who was heavy on the forehand, and have gone to reining. My neck is much better without a horse hanging on my hands for sure, altho I do have issues loping my circles sometimes when I have to hold one hand half way up the mane for longer periods of time.
I have a bad low back, osteoporosis.. nothing helps. Have pain always
Hurt my neck building a barn, did not go to MD. (may someday)
Have had knee injury for 41 years, a couple of surgeries, constant pain.
I sometimes use advil, aspirin, motrin. Dont take them all the time.
have arthritis in the knee now . Hurts worse after riding , but have a very hard time gettin on and off the horse.
cervical spine arthritis
My neck has sustained severe damage over the years, most recently severe whiplash twice by my mustang last year. Due to the weakness in my neck, I was unable to withstand his bolting forward, so my neck snapped back. I have been told by medical professionals that I need to quit riding. Does anyone know of a neck brace that would provide a little support in this situation. Has anyone had their neck fused? I just can't bear to give up riding yet.
I had a bad accident with a horse 7 yrs ago - was hung up with my foot in stirrup while he bucked I repeatedly crash on the ground then into the oposite sides flank. I suffered severe whiplash. Went to chiro 3 times a week for 3 mos. Then I recieved occasional massages. Now just take pain killers,walk and do stretches to keep pain down.I am an avid outdoors woman, I still ride lots (weather permitting) I use hot water bottles after a hard ride to help soothe. My best tool is a good neckrag, keeps neck protected from cool air and supports some. Eventually I will have to go back to doc to find out if anything else can be done.
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I wonder if you had a helmet modified to have a kind of support built onto the back edge of it, so that if you bent your head back very far, the support pad would compress against your shoulders and stop your head from snapping back. I think some football players do stuff like that.
Thanks, PrairieChic and tinyliny for your help. I'm doing PT and i do use heat. it does all help and I'm riding. I'll ride as much as possible this summer and I hope you all can, too.
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