Riding related aches and pains

Ale

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Feb 8, 2012
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I'm curious if like me you ignore them hoping they'll go away or if you see a physio, chiropractor, osteopath etc? Any diagnoses you care to share?

I've been experiencing pain in my left hip for over a year now but only when I'm in the saddle, never sitting, cycling or any other time. I don't ride often but it has progressed from a dull ache to a pain that results in me having to get off to alleviate it after about 45mins.

I've been going to an osteopath for 3 weeks now and what a difference it has made. My diagnosis was various issues.. my left leg is rotated inwards, the inside muscles are far too tight meaning my femur is pulled forward in the socket. So I get hip pain from this. I also have a sacroiliac problem on the same side. My foot and knee are both tight and rotated that side but they think all tied in with the hip/sacroiliac problems. And the cause of all these problems is most likely just a tight right thigh muscle meaning my left leg has been compensating badly.

I'm still getting some sacroiliac pain when I ride but everything else feels alot better (the pain was from hip to below the knee) so this shows the femur is sitting more correctly now.

Anyway I'm just finding it all really fascinating, but I realise now I should of gone alot sooner!!
 

Star the Fell

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Jun 14, 2015
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I’ll be honest and say I ignore my aches and pains. I know I should see an osteopath but as usual lack of time and money means I just put it off.
I am curious though, did you go straight to an osteopath or did you get a doctors referral?
 

Ale

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Feb 8, 2012
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I’ll be honest and say I ignore my aches and pains. I know I should see an osteopath but as usual lack of time and money means I just put it off.
I am curious though, did you go straight to an osteopath or did you get a doctors referral?
This is what put me off for so long, luckily my uni has a trainee clinic that offers half price treatments and because I'm a student there I only pay £10. Last night she spent an hour working on me and is really thorough so it's amazing value.

I didn't get referred from a doctor, is that a bad thing?
 

chunky monkey

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May 2, 2007
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My doctor said I could self refer myself to the hospital physio when I said I had hip pain. She didn't even examine me the other week.
I was going to a chiropractor about my back but he moved out the area. I tried a different practice and was impressed. It was more like a massage and to be honest it didn't alleviate the problems. It was more my resting that helped. I wish I could find a good one that did actually manipulation.
 

Jessey

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Dec 20, 2004
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Doctors will only refer to physios as they are the only medically recognized ones, chiros/osteo etc. you would employ privately and honestly I have had much better luck with the latter.
I've been seeing various body workers since I was 11, when I was 9 I had an accident that left me with a vertebra 'out' which went untreated (despite hospital visits) and that resulted in me compensating and my whole spine ended up S shaped and I couldn't stand up straight, it meant years of treatment to get it back from that stage so I would always tend to go sooner than later now days as caught early things are often much more easily sorted :) My version of sooner than later is, if it doesn't get better with more exposure to the exercise after a few months I will get it looked at :) I have an awesome osteo/naturopath I have been using for 15 years now, but will still occasionally go to a physio or chrio if it needs a different type of treatment, we can self refer for NHS physio here in Suffolk.
 

diplomaticandtactful

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Apr 25, 2003
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I have used a Bowen therapist and go to a McTimothy practitioner every 6 weeks I have arthritis in my neck, shoulder, toes and lots of aches and pains, plus lots of old injuries from whiplash and falling off horses. I can't turn my neck completely as I have three fused vertebrae - genetic. I have found that the regular treatment, just bringing me back into alignment, does help a lot. I still have a very grumbly left knee which at the moment is being a bugger, bone on bone. This one has been operated on and scraped out but probably will need doing again. She can't do much about that. I had a check with physio dept on NHS who confirmed that I have very good strength, i.e. scored 5 out of 5 on all their tests. My toes hurt as I have arthritis between them.....so all in all I am a bit of a wreck, total I ache all over due to the weather.
 

Skib

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Dec 21, 2003
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I cant remember how old you are Ale. As one ages, the pads between the vertebrae in ones spine harden and shrink. Then nerves get caught. The pain from aging in the spine may be referred to ones hips, knees etc.
I was referred by my GP, the problem was diagnosed and then I had physio on the NHS. I do believe that before going to an auxiliary practitioner like an osteopath or Pilates, one should get a medical diagnosis. Otherwise the therapist may do more harm than good.
The question is then whether one should just put up with the pain. Hospital consultant may well offer drastic remedies like operations. Which are jnot necessarilly successful and may even make things worse. My brother who opted for an operation can no longer ride.
Deciding not to have an operation involves accepting that one's body is aging and doing all one can to minimise the pain and damage - the right bed, the right chair, the right exercises.
And in my case moderating the riding I do to improve rather than damage my back.I dont take pain killers and I am not ignoring the pain. I am managing it.
I avoid the Alexander expert and Pilates for riding people who visit our yard. Experts look one up and down and in exchange for your money are convinced they can put you right. But they cant reverse aging.
To go back to your situation Ale. If I had hip pain after riding I would assume it was spine related and due to a horse or saddle that was a bit wide. Or doing too much sitting trot or sitting canter. If i were spending a lot of time at the computer as i do for my work, I would look at how I am sitting and my chair.
Carrying heavy things, moving furniture and gardening or swimming breast stroke, can all be worse for one's back than riding.
 

OwnedbyChanter

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Apr 16, 2009
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Ache all down my left side. Mostly my left lower back and hip as I have AS abs through down to my ankle which I broke five years ago and literally as I type this I have just left the hospital after having steroid injections in it to ease the pain.

I am luckily that we have access to physio all the time and quick referrals is something major is needed but then again if I’m not fit to deploy I am unemployed. So they work hard to fix us when it goes wrong like now.

I’ve been told I am not allowed to take part in any impact activities which tbh when he told me I broke down as I love running.

My ankle is trashed and they can’t operate again as it would weaken it further and the arthritis that has set in already would worsen soon if I didn’t stop then I would not be able to ride.

I stopped. I have taken up yoga instead and am finding the benefits are huge not just in my body but I’m my mind. My anxiety has dropped and I feel calmer when things go bad.

My riding has also improved as I have more control over my left side.
 

JayneW

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Dec 3, 2017
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I bypass the GP and go straight to the osteopath I see as often as required. I saw them regularly during my pregnancy and can honestly say they kept me mobile. The physio my GP referred me to at the time didn’t even examine me and gave me the same advice I could get myself from the internet. In my opinion it is always money well spent and I feel as if I move more freely when I’ve had a session. I go when I have an injury but could probably do with a regular session if funds permitted.
 

Jessey

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Dec 20, 2004
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Ache all down my left side. Mostly my left lower back and hip as I have AS abs through down to my ankle which I broke five years ago and literally as I type this I have just left the hospital after having steroid injections in it to ease the pain.

I am luckily that we have access to physio all the time and quick referrals is something major is needed but then again if I’m not fit to deploy I am unemployed. So they work hard to fix us when it goes wrong like now.

I’ve been told I am not allowed to take part in any impact activities which tbh when he told me I broke down as I love running.

My ankle is trashed and they can’t operate again as it would weaken it further and the arthritis that has set in already would worsen soon if I didn’t stop then I would not be able to ride.

I stopped. I have taken up yoga instead and am finding the benefits are huge not just in my body but I’m my mind. My anxiety has dropped and I feel calmer when things go bad.

My riding has also improved as I have more control over my left side.
Sorry to hear your ankle has gotten worse, it must be really difficult for you to give up running, you have often said how much you enjoy it.
 

OwnedbyChanter

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Sorry to hear your ankle has gotten worse, it must be really difficult for you to give up running, you have often said how much you enjoy it.
Thank you. I did literally have a melt down. I was also concerned for my career. But I think it will be ok.

I hate not running and have gained weight already
 

Mary Poppins

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I bypass the GP and go straight to the osteopath I see as often as required. I saw them regularly during my pregnancy and can honestly say they kept me mobile. The physio my GP referred me to at the time didn’t even examine me and gave me the same advice I could get myself from the internet. In my opinion it is always money well spent and I feel as if I move more freely when I’ve had a session. I go when I have an injury but could probably do with a regular session if funds permitted.
That is really interesting. I am going to my first yoga session tomorrow.
 

Ale

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Interesting replies as always everyone.

I'm quite keen on starting Pilates or yoga but currently haven't the time, will look into it during the summer hopefully
 

diplomaticandtactful

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I find with the osteo and being sensible I am okish. I have a lot of aches and pains but that's nothing much to be done about. If I do work in the garden, I don't dig, and I stop once I have had enough rather than plough on. I think I probably stay a bit sounder as I pace myself better e.g I have yards of outdoor painting to do, I have done 50 hours so far. But what I am now doing is bite size chunks, couple of hours at a time rather than a full day. Ditto scraping the yard which I have to do by hand and lifting is not great on my back, so I do a tiny bit daily.
 
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Jessey

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Thinking about it, the biggest thing with my osteo is she is a rider, she understands the stresses and strains it puts on your body. The physio I saw last year was really hindered by the fact he didn't have a clue about riding and what you need your body to do, and didn't understand that a small imbalance could cause a bigger knock on effect once in the saddle.
 

diplomaticandtactful

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Thinking about it, the biggest thing with my osteo is she is a rider, she understands the stresses and strains it puts on your body. The physio I saw last year was really hindered by the fact he didn't have a clue about riding and what you need your body to do, and didn't understand that a small imbalance could cause a bigger knock on effect once in the saddle.
mine is a rider and also works on horses and dogs, she does buddy as well as me
 

Ale

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My osteopath has asked me to be the patient she uses for her exam! Is it wrong that I'm excited about this.

She said I'm the most interesting case because of my scarring, how the pain was displaying and how well I've responded to treatment.

My posture has been completely altered through my visits, amazing really. I'm still getting some sacroiliac pain but only whilst being treated. Everything else has completely cleared up!

I'm now on monthly treatments so huge improvement!