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SkyeAngel 04-14-2011 08:26 AM

Getting fitter without causing further damage...
Ok guys, so I have a quick question:

I'm picking up my riding now from occasional hacks and social riding, to more serious applied riding, particularly jumping (I ride english).

In order to do this I am going to need a higher level of fitness, I'm more podge than muscle at the moment, and have gotten particularly flabby in the stomach/waist area. I also want to improve my posture while not on my horse.

The problem here is I have a messed up knee, which has been bad for several years due to a previous injury. I have had numerous x-rays and examinations, and did attend six months of physiotherapy. I also have a really bad back. it hurts most of the time, and has done for about a month, but is particularly bad when bending it in any way. I'm still waiting on a doctor's appointment about this one, I think i'll have to see a chiro. These injuries make a lot of excercises and stretches that I read about really painful.

So my question is, what excercises can I do to get in shape that aren't going to be a problem with my knees/back?

I've been doing a lot of swimming, but it's not always a practical option.

If anyone has any suggestions, i'd be really grateful. Thanks!

mls 04-14-2011 09:53 AM

Walking. Buy a GOOD pair of athletic shoes and walk!

Initially stick to even ground to not strain your knee or back. Gradually add in inclines and declines.

jdw 04-15-2011 08:44 AM

I would call and talk with a physical therapist. I know most all of them would be only too happy to share a list of exercises with you that encourage muscles around your injury areas to perhaps strengthen them.

MHFoundation Quarters 04-15-2011 09:19 AM

^i agree with jdw. Talk to a pt. I tore my acl several years ago (not from riding) and my therapist was awesome! We ended up trading services :) I got therapy and she got riding lessons. She still rides with me a couple times a month even though my knee is healed. I get free massages now :)
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JustDressageIt 04-15-2011 09:28 AM

Get in with a good physiotherapist. I'm currently battling a chronic knee injury, so I feel your pain. Do your exercises religiously otherwise you may not get results. Biking and swimming are both no-impact cardio workouts - though I'd say it's likely swimming would do more of a full-body workout for you.
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mls 04-15-2011 10:14 AM


Originally Posted by SkyeAngel (Post 997681)
and did attend six months of physiotherapy.

Did the rest of you miss this comment of the Op's?

MHFoundation Quarters 04-15-2011 10:27 AM

^I read it. But I still say it wouldn't hurt to see another one, this is why....My brother in law was shot in the lower back (hunting accident) and paralyzed, he was told by more than one doctor and therapist he would never walk. He saw a different therapist and although it was long & grueling process, a year in a wheelchair & another yr with a walker he now walks with a brace and does pretty much everything he did before. He even changed careers, went back to school and is now an orthopedist so he can give back what he received.

JDI suggested swimming, that's a great idea. You might try talking to a personal trainer and get suggestions on exercises/work outs and equipment that would be low impact. There was a thread on here awhile back from a guy who was an equestrian fitness might look him up.

SkyeAngel 04-15-2011 11:05 AM

Hi, thanks for all the responses so far

The problem I am finding at the moment is that living in the UK healthcare is a little different. We have the National Health Service which is basically a free healthcare system (I won't go into it too much), so when I had physiotherapy before it was effecitvely free. I had started physio because my knee was making it too painful to walk or get around. After 6 months my knee was fine to walk on and doesn't give me day to day pain, which is why my physiotherapist signed me off. My knee is now fine, unless i'm putting unnecessary strain on it which a lot of common excercises seem to do. Because of the NHS if I wanted to go back into physiotherapy I would need to be referred there by my doctor, who is unlikely to refer me as my knee isn't really a problem most of the time now. So to get physiotherapy without referal I would have to go private, which would probably cost more than I can afford right now, considering my student debts.

My back is really the more pressing issue at the moment and as I mentioned I am waiting for a doctors appointment, and will see what happens with that.

As I mentioned before the excerise I am concentrating on currently is swimming, but this is not always practical, as often the times I have available to go coincide with sessions where the pool is not available. I will be continuing to swim whenever I can.

I like the idea of walking, A lot of my friends jog, but my physiotherapist pretty much told me not to, especially on the roads. I think I will try walking more, but I will have to drive out to find somewhere flat, as I pretty much live on the top of a hill surrounded by valleys! hah.

I will of course welcome further suggestions. I am really looking for excercises that I can do at home or at a gym that do not require a lot of special equipment or costs, and that will help with my overall fitness as well as posture and riding ability.

littrella 04-15-2011 11:24 AM

I just recently hurt my lower back and have been going to physical therapy. Most of the exercises I do are pilates based. They strenghen you core and it develops better posture. There is a good video on Youtube called "pilates for dummies". You might want to check it out and see if it would work for you

Michelle and Mr B 05-17-2011 08:02 AM

I live in the UK and if you go to your doc and say about the back pain, you will get referred. I know this from personal experience and my back pain stemmed from another area as your sounds. It can't hurt to go back to your doctor see if you can get referred what have you got to lose?

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