Tag Archives: lumbar

Back Pain in Riders

Low back pain is probably the most common complaint in the United States. Studies suggest that 4 out of 5 people will suffer from back pain at some point in their lives. Riding, with the frequency of falls, the position, the jarring motion, only hikes up that statistic.

Many people with back pain have been told it is due to a slipped, or herniated disk. Surprisingly however, most back pain is caused by weak muscles, asymmetry, poor posture, and being overweight. Stress and tension can also contribute to back pain.

Rolfing, also known as myofascial release, can change posture and eliminate pain.

In Chinese medicine back pain is believed to be caused by a block in the bladder meridian. Acupressure, reflexology, shiatsu,and acupuncture can be very effective for curing pain. Yoga has many postures (like side plank) that can strengthen postural muscles. Swimming is good exercise, as it supports body weight while strengthening important core muscles.

Cold laser can reduce or eliminate pain, improve circulation, and reduce inflammation.

How Tight is Your Horses Tail?

Have you ever been surprised by how tightly your horse can clamp down with his tail? This tightness is symptomatic of tension in the lumbar and sacrum regions. Causes can be jumping in difficult footing, getting the tail stuck in a fence, a saddle that does not fit causing bruising and pain from rubbing the lumbar area, or accumulated stiffness from age or compensation. When the muscles and fascia are in a healthy state, the tail should freely lift up and over the back. The tail should hang symmetrically and swing freely. Check the tail if you are having trouble with lateral movement. A stiff tail will affect the movement of the haunches and lumbar area.

Myofascial release is very effective for tightness of the tail. It might take a while for the horse to move in freedom again. Muscle memory is a powerful thing when an animal is trying to avoid pain, so be patient when incorporating bending and lateral work after this kind of bodywork.

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