Lower back ache after riding - The Horse Forum
 
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post #1 of 6 Old 06-13-2011, 10:00 AM Thread Starter
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Lower back ache after riding

I have just gotten back into riding after over 35 years.

I am 59, female and in good physical health. Except for I guess my muscles in the lower part of my back. I guess they call it the "small" of the back just above the kidneys.

Are there any exercises I can do to strengthen these muscles specifically? Everything else is great. Feel great, I am limber...just that.

Thanks guys!
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post #2 of 6 Old 06-13-2011, 10:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Farleyv View Post
I have just gotten back into riding after over 35 years.

I am 59, female and in good physical health. Except for I guess my muscles in the lower part of my back. I guess they call it the "small" of the back just above the kidneys.

Are there any exercises I can do to strengthen these muscles specifically? Everything else is great. Feel great, I am limber...just that.

Thanks guys!
I get this issue, too, and my massage therapist told me it's because I'm letting my hip flexors and quadriceps get tight. (That is, letting the front of my thighs and hips get tight causes the small of my back to start to ache - I guess things get pulled out of alignment.) I gather that this is a pretty common problem - my MT told me that people typically respond by trying to stretch the lower back, but that this actually makes things worse.

I tried out her suggested stretches and they have been *very* helpful in relieving the lower back aches.

Standing quadriceps stretch

Pigeon Pose, from yoga. I make sure to do this after every ride. It is extremely efficient, and gets at all the muscles I'm working while riding.

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post #3 of 6 Old 06-13-2011, 10:58 AM
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Thanks for the info serafina, I'm in the same boat as farleyv!
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post #4 of 6 Old 06-13-2011, 11:03 AM
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Also - not sure how helpful this one is, either - but my instructor, after I've been working for a while, has me drop my stirrups and hang my knees over the front rolls on the saddle (so my lower legs are dangling down the sides of the horse's withers) and walk like that on the horse for a bit. Just a couple of minutes of that releases a lot of the tension that can build up in my lower back while I'm riding. She calls it a chair seat, but when I googled that term, it is nothing like the results that come up (which seem mostly to be about incorrect leg position in the stirrups).
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post #5 of 6 Old 06-13-2011, 11:11 AM Thread Starter
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Oh great, thanks! Looks like it is kind of common. My back has been suffering with one of those air matresses even before I came back to riding. Ditched the matress! But would never ditch the horse!

I am gonna go on a trail ride at 12:30 today and will come home and do those exercises!

Thanks again!
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post #6 of 6 Old 06-16-2011, 05:38 PM
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One of the better lower back exercises is "good mornings". You can google the exercise.

Also, don't neglect your abs. The majority of lower back problems are a result of weak abs. The abs are the opposing muscle group to the lower back muscles and help stabilize the back. When the abs are weak, just as with any opposing muscle group, the lower back muscles are stressed trying to do all the stabilization themselves...
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