riding with bulging discs :(
So after months of back pain from an unknown cause, my doctor finally diagnosed me with two bulging discs in my lower back. They're not too severe, but I'm going to need physical therapy for the next 5 weeks.
Problem is, there is NO WAY I can take a complete break from riding or the "barn life". I am getting hired by my stables on Monday so there is no bed rest for me because I NEED this job. I can ride without too much pain, only a little discomfort, but I'm at such a cross roads. I want my back to heal but like I said, a break is impossible. I normally jump, so what precautions can I take to go easy on my back when riding or doing chores? Obviously I need to avoid falling off at all costs lol, but should I practice my 2 point? Posting? Collecting my canter? Has anyone else had bulging discs and continued riding?
This really upset me, I couldn't help feeling like it was the end of the world when he told me haha, so any help would be appreciated :cry:
I have 2 crushed discs in my lower back, it causes sciatica. When I ride I am in pain, the level of pain depends entirely on how wide the horse is and how long I have been in the saddle. Strangely I find that wider horses are easier to ride/ cause less pain.
There is no cure for mine as discs do not regenerate so I have continued to ride anyway.
I would suggest that you get a very good lumbar support belt. That if at all possible you avoid heavy or repetative lifting (so feed sacks, hay bales and lots of mucking out). If you must lift then use your knees not your upper body.
Finaly when riding, keep it short and sweet. If your back realy hurts you will have to stop and take a break. I have ignored severe pain and kept on riding because I was in a show, I spent nearly 2 hrs on the horse for one class and actualy had to have a big burley guy lift me off the horse because I couldnt physically do it myself (thankfully I was only riding a 14.2hh pony and not a 16hh pony).
If you get shooting pains down your legs like I do then you need to come back to a walk or a halt and take your foot out of the stirup, lift your knee upwards and rotate it outwards away from your hip. Then lower it and put it back in the stirrup repeat untill the pain settles, this exercise should hopefully (if preformed correctly) release the sciatic nerve from what ever is trapping it.
I personaly would avoid jumping if at all possible, there is a higher risk of falling off when jumping. Work on your horses flat work instead as flat work will always help your jumping.
i have bulging discs in my back and i have found my back has gotten stronger due to correct riding.. just make sure you take breaks if ur back starts hurting. i have also found that having jointed stirrups help bc it absorbs more shock so your back doesnt have to. doing two point helps, unless you have a really good seat at the canter and can let your body really follow the horse dont sit to it just half seat and def avoid sitting trot for a while. when doing chores, as suggested get one of the back lumbar support belts and try using leverage as much as possible when moving heavy objects
i have had this issue since i was 19... fell down wet stairs at my work. i am now almost 24 and go to the chiropractor only about once a year now and he says that my back is stronger now then back then and my riding has helped tremendously.. who knew lol
I have 3 compressed fractured vertebra that, fortunately, don't give me any trouble but I have 2 herniated dics that can at times. I can be perfectly fine for weeks or even months at a time then just sneeze and I feel the discs pop. When that happens, I can barely walk for up to 2 weeks let alone ride (but I still have to feed and muck!).
What I've done was to strengthen my stomach and back muscles so that I am using those muscles rather then my back. In your case, once they are "popped" there is nothing you can do until the swelling goes down - then start exercises to strengthen other muscles to support your back.
Thank you so much everyone! I'll look into the support belt, it's just Watson is literally obsessed with jumping, poor boy. I'll just work on my flat work and lunge him over some jumps. And luckily my trainers have been drilling down on my equitation so I have no choice but to use good form lol. Also I just ordered this saddle EquiRoyal Pro Am All Purpose Saddle - Statelinetack.com so maybe it'll be better than the saddle I've been using that just came with an english starter pack. (Hey, it worked in a pinch!)
But what about bareback? It's another thing we both LOVE. It's just so convenient in the summer time and I almost have better form bareback.
No!!! dont do bareback. I promise you that your back will kill you afterwards. If you lose your balance one slight wrong twist whilst trying to get it back WILL hurt you.
Remember that if you take a break now, it may pay greater dividends in the long run. But what is absolutely the most important is like another member said; you must really strengthen your abs and lateral core muscles. I recommend Yoga as the best way to accomplish this. but take it very easy at first.
Most adults have bulging disks to some degree. It isn't uncommon at all. We just get stronger to support the disks and go on with life. But I agree, bareback or other things that require sudden movement is not good for you.
I have had to mostly give up on Badminton 'casue the sudden, extremem movements are a risk to reinjure my lower back.
Thank you for all your help everyone. I hate feeling like an old woman when I'm only 18. I just want to ride my boy :(
I had loads of problems with my back especially during a trot and canter. I always jar my back and the pain is awful. The first time I did it i couldn't ride for about 6 weeks, then I did it again a couple of weeks after getting back in the saddle. I was on anti inflammatorys for several weeks which helped. Anyway I did some research, like you do, and I bought a prolite back support, ive not looked back since. You have to pull it really tight but ive not had a back problem since, im so pleased to be able to canter without worrying I'll jar my back again. Result
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