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greengirl 02-25-2013 04:30 PM

Herniated Disc-how to know when to ride again
Hi! So, after my first month of lessons I herniated my L4/L5 disc and am now in physical therapy. Looks like my prior back injuries caught up with me. What a way to start (&$***##&!!!%!!), but I am determined to get back in the saddle as soon as I've strengthened my core, as I now consider myself a horse and riding addict even with just 1 month under my belt (LOVE!!!).

I am working with a chiropractor who is helping me rehab and stabilize the area, am also doing lots of Bosu Ball exercises, and will be doing exercises from "The Rider's Fitness Program."

BIG QUESTION: From a physical rehab perspective, how did you know you were ready to ride again (assuming no pain or nerve issues from the disc). I know my chiro will have an opinion, but how did YOU, personally, KNOW?

Thank you!

tinyliny 02-26-2013 12:16 AM

I'll be interested to hear the advice from the knowledgable on this. I, too, have a mildly herniated disk.

livelovelaughride 03-06-2013 12:45 AM

There are so many variations on a theme for disc bulge, or herniation, and its symptoms. Mine was a mild disc herniation that was not associated with "an event". One day my left leg was tingling and I noticed whenever I sneezed, coughed (especially in bed or first thing in am) my back in L5 area had a ugly painful pressure. I couldn't lift groceries or do leg weights/squats but it didn't hurt to ride...or so I thought. I hadn't bought Ed yet so was riding only 4 days a week. I told my coach I could not or should not do sit trot. We were careful not to fall.

My chiro recommended decompression therapy and I did about 10 sessions. I noticed a difference at session 5. Chiro also recommended at least 3 hours of yoga a week, stating that I needed to be more elastic in all angles of the spine. I didn't do physio but kept up with massages every 3 weeks. Disc herniations do heal-it does take some time. It took me about 4 months to be free of "that" particular pain. I have another back issue- irritated facet joint, I believe. It's a different set of symptoms and another story!! You WILL heal!

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