Recovering from car accident and riding problems. - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 14 Old 02-11-2012, 06:03 PM
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At the end of 2008 I had a bad accident, like you, it could've been much worse (without going into detail on the forum, I was in an accident with a two-trailered articulated lorry (so approx 40 tonnes) on a motorway, I ended up spinning down the fast lane in the dark). I went to hospital (still very much in shock, it took me months to overcome the shock) and I had central neck pain, which would indicate a fractured neck. So, they closed off the motorway, strapped me to a board and took me off. I ws lucky to get whiplash only, however I feel the pain daily still in my neck, I'm not convinced that the doctor didn't miss something, but who am I to say, mostly I have full strength, and almost full range of movement. My right shoulder is affected too, that mostly due to a fall from speed off one of my horses a year before, and I also think that that fall, combined with my head injury in 2005, is what made my whiplash worse.

It took me 6 months before I could get back on a horse after my accident, as I was in too much pain, and I've ridden with a broken foot before (fell off jumping, hobbled to my horse, clambered back on and continued). I'm on amitriptyline daily now as a preventer which IMO doesn't seem to be working much. Been back to my gp but she's about as much use as a chocolate teapot, therefore getting no where! I just dose myself up on painkillers daily to get thru the day, I rarely ride (due to life circumstances not pain) these days, but to sit at a computer and do work causes me greater pain. When I'm up on my feet and actually active, I'm not half as bad.

Now, for the ankle, I'm one of the most accident prone people you'll ever meet! I've fallen off my horse, being unable to stand on one ankle, fallen down stairs so done the other ankle, and invariably, either ankle during PE back when I was at school! Now both ankles are slightly deformed at have a inversion when relaxed. I walk normally, maybe slightly flat footed, and whilst they don't generally cause me pain, I have to be careful with what shoes I wear as I fall out of most (yes, fall!) dolly shoes and high heeled shoes, even if I get 'tied in' to them, and get pain in my feet if I'm stood still or walk too far.

Whilst its difficult to use your affected limbs it's important you do so, as your brain will relearn how to use them effectively. Do any exercises you've been set, and practice picking small things up with your affected hand, like coins, with and without you watching. An effective way of doing it I guess would be to chop cake into small pieces, or bits of chocolate, and look away, or close your eyes without the temptation to peak, while you pick up a piece and eat it.

As much as I know you said you'd rather not, but from the medical experience I have, take pain killers, if your pain is not under control, how the hell do you expect your body to be able to heal? You also need to be in control of your pain to function correctly, as you'll be finding alternate ways to move, therefore you won't be moving correctly and will invariably be using mobility muscles for stabilisation and it's more tiring on you and those muscles are not built to take the constant strain of stability. Strap up your ankle to ride, and dose yourself up on painkillers. Give yourself a couple of days to adjust and I'm sure you'll be feeling better. If you're in enough pain to require that level of painkillers then against misconceptions, you won't get addicted to them. You can reduce them down as you feel necessary, but usually what happens is you'll be given a base rate to try and you'll titrate up to a level where you're totally pain free, but you won't be given too much.
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post #12 of 14 Old 02-11-2012, 06:57 PM Thread Starter
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Maesseren you are accident prone, poor girl! So over three years and still feeling it? Ohhhh no.

You are right about repetitive movement and working at a desk. CRAP it's worse than getting out and being active. Doctors told me to quit my job. Well I'm kind of a good artist with several campaigns and I can't just quit. I can still draw but I have to really focus, only making matters worse. I've noticed my hand coordination is improving with practice but I still have the numbness.

And most doctors are worthless. If the issue isn't glaring them in the face they don't see it. I had an MRI, X-Rays, nerve tests, you name it. They didn't see anything but I tried to get another due to the fact that my NECK WAS SOOO SWOLLEN and sometimes that can press a fracture together making it invisible to the machines, nope they won't hear me out. It is still inflamed, sore and swollen making my face/neck/arm numb and burning at the same time. Stupid people won't LISTEN. I've cried, screamed, pleaded for help. Still get... "sucks to be you." MORONS.
I wore 4inch loaded high heels for the first time in two years to a COC banquet. My husband told me to quit limping because it looked like I was intoxicated! I had hardly drank much, but was about too because the pain was so bad! LOL!

Have you tried gabapentin (sp) for nerve pain? It doesn't have the addictive properties and helped a bit. Unfortunately it made my panic attacks worse and I had to quit taking it. I do take something to help my anxiety before I ride, which helps me stay "loose" in the saddle, only 1/2 a pill but it makes a world of difference! That and ginsing, heck why not. I'm hoping it'll at least have a placebo effect.

You can get a lot further with a ladder than you can with crutches!!
What do you mean what do I mean?
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post #13 of 14 Old 02-11-2012, 07:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Allison Finch View Post
I have a student who is recovering from an accident that gave her severe head injuries. As a result, she has memory lapses, and equilibrium problems. Before I took her on, she had another instructor. One time, she had balance problems and fell from her horse. She shattered her pelvis requiring a year away from her five horses.

She has recovered, mostly, from her pelvic injury and wanted to take lessons. Several instructors turned her down. One of my students told her about me and she asked my help to get her back on a horse. I understand that she has to "rebuild" the mental pathways that control her balance and abilities to ride. I took her on.

She has to go very slowly and do tons of movement repetitions to rebuild her "pathways". Sometimes the slow progress is frustrating to her, knowing the dressage she was able to do before the accidents. BUT, slow is what it takes.

Well, she is doing SO well. She is relearning the rising trot and her equilibrium is hugely improved. Today she was relearning the use of leg/hand/seat to perform leg yielding. She is eager to get back to canter and I am holding her back for a bit to ingrain her newly relearned abilities.

She has a talented danish/TB that I am falling in love with. He has become the kindest "babysitter" never taking advantage and allowing her to get back nicely.

Anyway, what I am telling you is to not be in a hurry. Accidents have so many unknown variables, it will be easy to miss something and go too fast. Just like training a horse, you must lay a good foundation (or lay a new and improved one). Once you do that, the rest may go a lot easier.

I recently heard a lecture on the radio about treating balance problems that Parkinsons Disease patients experience with Tai Chi.
The need to move very slowly and maintain and ever changing (rather than static) balance was a huge improvement for these folks who have the shaking and nerve damage inherent with this disease.
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post #14 of 14 Old 02-11-2012, 07:55 PM
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I'm unbelievably accident prone, you can guarantee I'll injure myself at least daily somehow! I learn to live with it, very rarely bruise so have nothing to show for the aches I sometimes have!

Nerves take a while to regenerate, but they do repair, I can't remember the exact amount but it's about 2mm per month or so, so if you've had quite extensive damage then it could take a long time (longer for bigger nerves).

I have to be careful about what tablets doctors give me, but my gp was considering trialling me on beta blockers, although it just shows how rubbish she is as I have a family history of asthma and that's quite a big contraindication. Ah well, I'll humour her if she decides to try it, but will request an asthma check first. But yes, I still feel it, like I said, I don't know whether its a combination of all three accidents, or whether there is something more sinister going off, but given that I've not had any new X-rays etc since the night of my accident, I wonder whether I should push for another scan, given that it's no better, if not worse.

Most people cover fully from normal whiplash by the time 2-3 years is up, providing there are no other problems exacerbating the newfound injury. Don't give up what you enjoy, just do everything in moderation and build things back up to a level which you can cope with.
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