We all know how tiresome the winter can be, cold nights, more mucking out and always in a rush. Could this be why so many of us suffer with more back pain during the long winter months. I have put together a few simple ways in which we could help to prevent back pain. But remember if you do start to suffer it is always worth while getting checked out by a physio, they will be able to help you with some specific exercises for your injury.
So . . . . .
1. Push don't pull. I am possibly the worst person for this, I would always much rather pull a wheelbarrow than push it. But by pushing we can engage our core and those all important bum muscles to help take the load.
2. Try to avoid the classic bend forwards and twist manoeuvre we all do so well when we muck out. Instead pick the poo/wet and MOVE YOUR FEET. This is particularly important for those aged between 25-40 when disc bulge/protrusion/slipped disc is rife! That said, your back IS STRONG, so try not to worry and over compensate.
3. Keep fit. This isn't just for your benefit but also your horse. The fitter you are the more able you will be to cope with the level of exercise you put on yourself. Now we are all short of time in the winter, but I'm not saying 2 hours I the gym every night, or even one hour, but a little of cardiovascular fitness can go a long way.
4. Horse ride! Wahoo! Best one yet. I often here people saying that they think riding is bad for their back - nonsense I think! Show me a rider with poor core stability and I'll eat my hat (my riding hat stinks so it would not be pleasant!) As riders we inherently have great core stability and posture, its been driven into us since we first sat on that pony that liked to charge off bucking! And although sometimes we need a little bit if help to target certain muscles, overall our riding is what keeps us going.
5. STEP AWAY FROM THE BACK BRACE!
Back braces are my bug bear! You back is strong, it is stable, it is made up of ligaments, tendons and muscles which are far more effective than any gadget you can put around your waist. At best they make you 'feel supported' at worst you learn to switch off your own muscles, become reliant on your bit of neoprene and prevent all movement from occurring in your spine. You back was made to move, its likes to move, why would you stop it from moving?! -Rant over :)
So I hope you have found these nuggets of information useful. If you have any questions feel free to comment below, or you can email me on Maxine@huntshillphysio.co.uk
If you are suffering with back pain you can also make an appointment to see me at Pickering Grange Equestrian centre.
Or give me a call on 07779003359.