Chiropractic care for horse riders
Chiropractic care for horse riders
Horse riding has many benefits, from sharing an emotional bond with an animal, to being able to get outdoors and explore the countryside. As such a physically demanding activity, it should keep you fit and healthy. However, horse riders can often be saddled with injuries – but don’t worry, regular chiropractic care can help!
So why do riders experience injury?
If you know a rider, you’ve more than likely heard plenty of tales of woe (or should that be, whoa!”) Yet it’s not only falling off a horse that can cause injury (remember that chiropractic care can help during recovery). The combination of various levels of speed, changes of direction and influencing factors from tack, can make riders prone to problems.
As the horse moves, a rider must continuously adjust their body position. As most riders know, it’s important for your body to be in good alignment. This means that you can help your horse by accurately responding to its movement. Recent research has even shown that rider weight and position can even influence lameness in horses. Likewise, the horse itself can affect your own posture. For example, from something as simple as suddenly putting its head down, that pulls your arms forwards sharply. If you have a horse with an imbalance, your body may also start to adapt to compensate. Over time, this can lead to problems ranging from occasional muscle spasms or stiffness, to more chronic back and neck pain.
Horse owners will usually call in a vet, or get physiotherapy or chiropractic treatment for their horse. But looking after the human body is vital in ensuring horse and rider can work effectively as a team.
What if I just work around horses?
Its not just about what happens when you are in the saddle! Looking after a horse involves plenty of heavy lifting (i.e bags of feed and water buckets). There can also be lots of one-sided movements (sweeping with a broom, which we tend to do more with either our right or left hand!) Some of the other risk factors include pushing heavy objects such as wheelbarrows, coupled with rotational movements. This could be hoisting heavy haynets over one shoulder, or twisting to put a saddle on a high rack!
Not only that, but when you wear a riding helmet, you are instantly adding weight to the head, which causes extra pressure on the neck. Combine this with rapid movements and you have a recipe for potential issues! This is where good alignment and keeping your body healthy and well-adjusted is key, not only for performance in the saddle, but for how you feel the rest of the time.
Misaligned joints can have a greater impact on other areas of your body. This is because the muscles that support the skeletal system could already be tense, which can exacerbate any injury. In turn, this can result in more pain, or delayed healing.
What should I do to halt any issues?
There are many options that can help riders to perform better in the saddle, and make things easier when looking after their horses on the ground. So to rein in any discomfort, talk to your chiropractor about what treatments could help. Not only will your horse thank you, but you’ll be helping to keep your body more stable in the long run!
Find out more about how we can help you, and more about chiropractic, osteopathy and sports therapy below.
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