It sounds like you want to stick with what you're doing - I would too! Horses all day long? Yessir! Now I'm not a Doc, and the advice I'm going to give absolutely falls under 'if this sounds like something you can't or shouldn't do for any reason, then don't do it.' Use your best discretion. Let's see if we can get you to take as good of care of yourself as you do of your horse/s.
Don't take ibuprofin forever - that stuff's hard on the stomach or liver, I don't recall which. Switch to Aleve temporarily and give it 24 hours to work. Long term Aleve is hard on the stomach. Turmeric Curcumin with black pepper can decrease inflammation. Don't take it if you've ever had stomach issues, gallstones, or your gallbladder removed. (I take it anyway, just not as much.)
Topical treatments: Bengay heat patch for your back - can't live without em some days. I used to have this topical gel called Alpengel but I can't find it anymore. Kool n' Fit sport spray works alright. I once used Penetrex
cream for my calves, knee, and hands, and I found it quite soothing.
Shoes: Don't forget your hoofboots! You need shoes (or insoles) that have an impact-shock energy return to keep your joints and muscles fresh. I have a pair of Gravity Defyers
and they're a godsend. (Here's
the pair I have, and here are the boots
they offer.) Even my not-so-graceful ankles haven't had an issue with them. I wear them for everything, including hoof trimming. The shoes create an artificial floor under your feet that feels amazing, particularly if your alternative is hard ground/floors. Each pair lasts about 1-2 years. Other people like Sketchers
. Some people swear by Ariat, because they're an equestrian brand, but their boots and shoes have all been too narrow for me. Don't worry about shoes not having a steel toe or being 'work boots' - you're horse-experienced enough that comfort is your #1 priority. And when you're ready to ride, just change shoes.
Sometimes when we start experiencing pain, we stop feeling like we have the energy to properly care for ourselves. Then we get worse!
Here are some easy things to check on or try out: Make sure you don't need a new mattress. Try sleeping on your back with proper support under your knees, spine, and neck. Get plenty of sleep and stay WARM, particularly if you have to get up early. When you get up in the morning, do stretches and move yourself - yoga is great. Don't drink a ton of coffee and cause yourself to have an energy crash. Make sure you're eating well and drinking plenty of water - you need energy and protein to serve your muscles. (I like hard boiled eggs, esp. in a cobb salad.) Take your vitamins and make sure you're getting vitamin D3, potassium, and magnesium. If you can't eat large meals, then eat smaller things throughout the day. Keep a thermos of hot herbal tea nearby, such as ginger or peppermint. Make sure you're staying warm at work. Wear a back brace to support your spine. Wrap or support any joints that are under strain, such as your wrists. Try compression socks if your legs are sore. And most of all - take your time! Take a 10 minute break every 50 minutes, or something similar, so that you can sit down. Make a plan and try it out.
Regarding the breaks: talk to your boss about it BEFORE he/she complains at you. Just say "I'm having some pain, so I'm going to try something new and take an (x) minute break to sit down every (x) minutes/hours. Is that alright, so long as the amount and quality of work I get done stays the same?"
See a good massage therapist, possibly one that practices Ayurvedic methods (Indian massage methods.) If you do that, drink plenty of water for 24-48 hours afterwards. I suggest having any massage on the day before
your day/s off (if you get them) - first massage in years can make one quite sore. Otherwise, schedule your massage so that you get as much time possible to R&R afterward. A good soak in a warm tub (possibly with added essential oils or something the massage therapist recommends) can really help.
Hope that helps you hon. Feel better soon!