Horseback Riding With a Herniated Disc

Have You Just Been Diagnosed With A Herniated Disc?
Have You Been Told To Give Up Riding?
You Don’t Have Too!

Prolapsed DiscA back or herniated disc injury does not mean your passion for riding horses has changed.  A herniated disc is a very common injury in the general public and very common is horse riders. Like any injury, a recovery time is required and it will require  patience, but there is no reason why you can’t eventually get back to riding again. It does require knowledge and correct exercises, though. It is not just your riding that needs to be considered here. Caring for a horse is much more harming to a disc injury than riding. This is an area not considered by health professionals.

I was 21 when I first injured my lower back. I was told surgery was my only hope and that I would have to give up all physical activities forever. I was devastated.  Instead, I chose to heal myself naturally. I studied Physiotherapy and allowed my body to heal as well as doing  a few specific exercises. In addition to these exercises, I designed a complete program of exercises and movement patterns specific to horse riding. (Applied Posture Riding). This has become one of the most popular programs for horse riders all over the world. If you want more information and to purchase the DVDs just go to the home page.

Lower Back Pain
Lower Back Pain

Every injury the body suffers leaves a scar. After a disc injury, your body will never be completely the same. The shock absorbing structures have been damaged, this means your body cannot absorb pressure through the spine as it did before the injury. All weight-bearing activities such as running sitting, rise and sit the trot, missing a step will jar your spine. Coughing sneezing and straining on the toilet will put pressure through your damaged disc.

Steps To Recover From Herniated Disc.

  • Control the pain..pain medication,wear a back support, heat or ice, resting. movement exercises
  • Allow time to heal. it is very important to allow the ligament and disc structures to heal at the level of the disc. (up to 6 months).
  • Set the body up to heal in the correct posture and movement patterns.
  • Protect the spinal from further injury.
  • Train for core stability and general fitness
  • Learn specific movement patterns to ride with better balance, stability and strength.

Recovering from a disc injury in forever. Exercising your core muscles needs to be an ongoing part of your lifestyle, not something you stop doing once the pain is gone. Correct stretching and learning how to move ,and lift correctly and even how to rest-stress-free is essential. A rider  who learns about core stability and proper spine alignment can actually further strengthen their back and core stability using horseback riding as an exercise.

Learning How To Protect Your Spine.

Riding is not the riskiest activity for a back injury. Lifting feed buckets, rugs, cleaning yards and stables, lifting the tail ramp on the float are high impact on your spine. Lifting a saddle onto a horses’ back, stretching up to put the bridle on put pressure on the disc. Wearing a good quality lumbar support will support the core and spine and  decrease your risk of further injury.

For Information on The Applied Posture Riding Program go to the Home Page.

Back Brace for horse riders
Back Brace for horse riders

I recommend wearing a back brace while riding and when in the stable area for protection. When riding avoid sitting trot and shorten your dressage length stirrups to help absorb the trot impact. Avoid sitting deep at the canter and jumping for a number of months.

Remember to start off slow and ease back into your riding. Expecting to ride full gallop again immediately out of a disc injury is not only unrealistic but also foolish. Start off walking your horse for a few days.
Horseback riding can be a wonderful pastime, and the bond riders often share with their horses can be just as wonderful. Be patient with yourself. Focus on your healing first, building up your core strength and stability.

The Applied Posture Riding program is the perfect program to recover from a herniated disc and learn how to ride with core strength and specific movement patterns.

Lumbar Back Support for horse riders
Lumbar Back Support for horse riders

If you want to buy a Lumbar support brace click here.

If you want more information about this unique program go to the home page or contact me direct

cheers Annette Willson