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Quibbler
Jan. 14, 2011, 07:43 PM
So I've been working really hard lately to improve my seat, and I read some tips about doing no-stirrup work and taking your leg completely off the horse (including inner thigh). Every time I attempt to do this, I feel a shooting pain starting in the lateral part of my hip and running down my thigh. I ease up and it takes a few seconds for the pain to fade. I'm blanking on the technical words to use right now. Anyways, it seems like I'm just overextending this muscle or something, so I was wondering if there are any exercises I can do to gain flexibility in my hips.

Melyni
Jan. 14, 2011, 08:04 PM
So I've been working really hard lately to improve my seat, and I read some tips about doing no-stirrup work and taking your leg completely off the horse (including inner thigh). Every time I attempt to do this, I feel a shooting pain starting in the lateral part of my hip and running down my thigh. I ease up and it takes a few seconds for the pain to fade. I'm blanking on the technical words to use right now. Anyways, it seems like I'm just overextending this muscle or something, so I was wondering if there are any exercises I can do to gain flexibility in my hips.

Sounds like a tight or sore IT band.
Don't lift your leg right off the saddle, just lighten it a bit and work up to lifting it.

Lunges, use of one of those big balls you can sit on or lie on your back and roll the ball with your feet.

There are a lot of stretches you can do to stretch an IT band.
Look into a DVD set called Success in the Saddle by Debbie Rodriguez it has a lot of good core strength and limbering exercises.
I think her website is SITS.com and she has a facebook page. I'll go there a look it up.
edited to add; found it;
http://www.successinthesaddle.com/SITS_Storefront_.html

Oral HA supplements really help with that (yes they make em for humans as well) and also help you to be looser in other joints. PM me if you need more info on that.

It can be hard getting those hips to loosen up esp if you are of urm more advanced years shall we say.

Good Luck
MW

princessfluffybritches
Jan. 14, 2011, 09:09 PM
Thanks from me! I needed some advice on that as well!

betsyk
Jan. 14, 2011, 09:21 PM
I was sent to "spine class" a few years ago when I was having trouble with my back. It was an awesome blend of group PT, pilates, yoga, strengthening and stretching stuff and made my hips feel great as well as helping my back. In my case, tight hamstrings were a major contributor to all the other problems. Maybe your HMO or local Y or fitness center has something similar?

Short term, we have stools at our kitchen counter that are maybe 2'6" or so and I put one foot up on the stool and stretch every morning. I'm also learning that if I take ibuprofen before a lesson, I don't have to take it afterward.

Rereading the original post, have someone watch you and be sure you're doing those exercises correctly. There are some ways our bodies just aren't meant to move!

MysticOakRanch
Jan. 15, 2011, 10:19 AM
I was sent to "spine class" a few years ago when I was having trouble with my back. It was an awesome blend of group PT, pilates, yoga, strengthening and stretching stuff and made my hips feel great as well as helping my back. In my case, tight hamstrings were a major contributor to all the other problems. !

I'd second this suggestion - I too have back problems, and after trying "traditional medicine", I ran into a pilates instructor who was also a rider - and she's been helping me a lot. Tight hamstrings and tight shoulders are common problems with us desk jockeys;)

stryder
Jan. 15, 2011, 01:08 PM
Perhaps you could PM Medical Mike and draw his attention to this thread? I'm sure many of us would appreciate hearing his ideas.

Trying
Jan. 15, 2011, 07:01 PM
After my 3rd hip replacement, I continued to have pain so off to a chir/DO and after month or two I knew it was the IT band and the sciatic nerve. His manipulation and messages/pressure point treatments have been quite sucessful. I will always gave pain at sone time or another. but not the Tramedal/Vicadin type. Stretches that stretch the painful part work and strengthen.

Dappled Grey
Jan. 15, 2011, 09:14 PM
I do this stretch called "figure four" morning and evening, only taking it as far as feels like a comfortable stretch depending on how tight things feel.

There are other great stretches too and what I have found is the key is being dedicated to doing them every single day.

http://www.basic-yoga-information.com/reclined-figure-4-pose.html

Quibbler
Jan. 16, 2011, 12:16 AM
Thank you guys. I'm 17 and my legs have wonky issues - tight hamstrings and being pigeon-toed, for example. Not exactly ideal for a Dressage rider, but it's just a matter of pushing through it, since we all have issues that we need to overcome.

Sometimes it tightens up even when I'm doing normal trot work, but knowing that it's the IT band will definitely help. The stretches will be a good place to start, and in the future I plan on limbering up some more with Pilates and Yoga classes.

Good luck to the others struggling with this. I'll get Medical Mike on this topic, and hopefully other forum members can come up with other good stretches for us.

coymackerel
Jan. 16, 2011, 12:37 AM
Here is a good series of stretches for hips and legs: http://www.baliyoga.com/Hip%20Opening.pdf

Melyni
Jan. 16, 2011, 12:06 PM
After my 3rd hip replacement, I continued to have pain so off to a chir/DO and after month or two I knew it was the IT band and the sciatic nerve. His manipulation and messages/pressure point treatments have been quite sucessful. I will always gave pain at sone time or another. but not the Tramedal/Vicadin type. Stretches that stretch the painful part work and strengthen.

Seriously, I also had some IT band issues, along with a few old injuries with adhesions. I started taking oral HA soln and it has made all the difference to my comfort and flexibility.
I'd humbly suggest you try some.
MW

leslie645
Jan. 16, 2011, 04:36 PM
I get a 'tighterning' or 'slow charlie horse' on the lateral part of my hip when riding. It is deep in there.
the one stretch that really hurts sooo good is this piniformis stretch (except I also push the opposite knee and it REALLY gets deep in my hip). I dont really have scatica pain, its in the sides of my hips.

http://www.ehow.com/video_4398858_piriformis-stretch-exercise-good-posture.html


weirdly enough my hips are the only joint in my body that is tight...the others are too loose. :/

medical mike
Jan. 16, 2011, 08:00 PM
Based on what you have posted, I'd say you are describing
"functional acetabular impingement." The pain pattern you describe is the referred pattern coming from the hip joint.

It is less likely only an overload to a hip abductor muscle.

IMO strengthening and an analysis of how you put your brake and go button on the horse, not stretches is the place to start.

Clearly your conformation is a major contributor and also needs to be analyzed, what a reasonable horse width would be, etc..

Leslie645,
That piriformis stretch "hurts so good" because you are, for lack of a better phrase, compacting the bone surfaces together, impinging the cartilage of the hip.

Hip impingement is not per say difficult to manage, however that is usually the best one can do.....MANAGE it. Optimal management is always done on a case by case basis.

Here is my general template. If you are interested in specifics' it is best to contact me through the website.

Rehab professionals for analysis of conformation and rough idea how involved the impingement is.

Measure your lower extremity length and figure out a 30 degree abduction angle.

No heels down, period and probably a more home foot..(rationale is hashed out over many threads if you are curious)

two position elbow/knee side plank.

Riding analysis to determine how you put your leg on/off the horse, looking for inefficiencies WITHIN your conformation. Ie. if you toed in say more than 10 degrees, having to turn your foot forward is probably not a good idea.

REgards,
medical Mike
equestrian medical researcher
www.equicision.com

le_dressage
Jan. 21, 2011, 02:38 PM
Maybe this had been mentioned but I am always amazed at how many people do not stretch before getting on the horse. You would stretch before a run or any other sport but so often people tack up and jump on the horse. I always stretch before I ride and it has made a huge difference. Even if I am in a hurry and do not have much time it makes a complete difference in my ride and I have found I ride much better plus it gives me a chance to focus and relax. Unless you ride 3 or more horses a day most of us probably only ride the one a day or only a couple times a week. Try stretching before you get on and then once you get on if your horse is quiet I promise you will feel the difference.

sophie
Jan. 22, 2011, 05:58 AM
Maybe this had been mentioned but I am always amazed at how many people do not stretch before getting on the horse. You would stretch before a run or any other sport but so often people tack up and jump on the horse. I always stretch before I ride and it has made a huge difference. Even if I am in a hurry and do not have much time it makes a complete difference in my ride and I have found I ride much better plus it gives me a chance to focus and relax. Unless you ride 3 or more horses a day most of us probably only ride the one a day or only a couple times a week. Try stretching before you get on and then once you get on if your horse is quiet I promise you will feel the difference.

When I was the OP's age, our instructors always had us stretch at the beiginning of the ride. We'd drop the reins, at a walk, and do all sorts of stretches, literally from toes to top of the head! Then we'd keep doing some of those stretches at trot and even canter (such as, do the "frog" - find your ischions and raise your legs frog-like in front of you). VERY effective to find the correct/ most effective riding position.
The caveat is that you need a very quiet horse to do this!
Since my horse is far from quiet, I rely on Yoga and Pilates. If I go to class once a week, my lower back is happy and leaves me alone even after a tough flat / dressage lesson.
If I don't do Yoga once a week, my lower back starts hurting again.

When I started attending Pilates classes, I could not do the side leg lifts. My outside hip was literally screaming.

Tegan
Jan. 22, 2011, 08:19 AM
You can also try a foam roller. It can be pretty painful to do if you are really tight but the different is amazing.

Here are some of the exercises:
http://runningtimes.com/Article.aspx?ArticleID=9911
http://sportsmedicine.about.com/od/flexibilityandstretching/ss/FoamRoller.htm


I find if I start having a lot of pain somewhere-- usually my knees or my lower back-- it's because my muscles around the area are tight and knotted. Stretching definitely helps but the foam roller is much better IMO.

rockfordbuckeye
Jan. 22, 2011, 02:51 PM
Get thee to a certified physical therapist. You can do harm "guessing" at what might be wrong and performing movements/stretches incorrectly. Your insurance will usually cover PT appts for an office visit copay per visit (usually something like $15) and it's well worth the time and effort.

scubed
Jan. 23, 2011, 10:33 AM
If just tight, pilates and yoga. See for example http://www.yoga4athletes.blogspot.com/

If something wrong, find a good PT who understands sports medicine or a good sports medicine doc who works with a good PT

Cowgirl
Jan. 25, 2011, 02:56 AM
I am using a Balimo (BAlanceInMOtion) chair. It is helping me, not only increase the range of motion in my hips, but also to become more aligned and balanced. Supposedly it can strengthen your core too... Check out the video here: http://www.balimochairs.com/about/uses-applications/

BALIMO
Jan. 27, 2011, 12:49 PM
The Balimo chair was designed for the equestrian world to help with things like this. I am not a doctor but do use the Balimo and it is amazing as to what it can do for the body. You can get a free DVD if you go to balimochairs.com and either call or email and you can get one. This will explain what Balimo can do for you.

kdow
Jan. 27, 2011, 01:02 PM
Get thee to a certified physical therapist. You can do harm "guessing" at what might be wrong and performing movements/stretches incorrectly. Your insurance will usually cover PT appts for an office visit copay per visit (usually something like $15) and it's well worth the time and effort.

Second this.

I have a tendency to be very tight in the lower back due to arthritis there - the muscles tighten up defensively - and it took a PT about seven different attempts to find a stretch that would actually stretch the correct part of my back, because of the way my body is put together. Some of the failures felt like perfectly reasonable stretches - but they weren't targeting the desired area, or were putting too much stress elsewhere.

(In my case, it was complicated by the fact that I'm hypermobile in quite a few of my other joints, so some of the stretches would rely on joint 1 hitting the end of the range of motion and transferring the stretch along, and in my case joint 1 would just go 'oh, we're doing that? Okay!' and I'd end up bent up like a pretzel with a lower back that hadn't loosened up a bit.)

SerenaGinger
Jan. 28, 2011, 12:44 AM
Second this.

I have a tendency to be very tight in the lower back due to arthritis there - the muscles tighten up defensively - and it took a PT about seven different attempts to find a stretch that would actually stretch the correct part of my back, because of the way my body is put together. Some of the failures felt like perfectly reasonable stretches - but they weren't targeting the desired area, or were putting too much stress elsewhere.

(In my case, it was complicated by the fact that I'm hypermobile in quite a few of my other joints, so some of the stretches would rely on joint 1 hitting the end of the range of motion and transferring the stretch along, and in my case joint 1 would just go 'oh, we're doing that? Okay!' and I'd end up bent up like a pretzel with a lower back that hadn't loosened up a bit.)

Oh, please let me know what stretch finally worked for you! I've been to a few PT's and unfortunately I haven't been impressed. When they see me pretzel up, they just figure out how they can stretch my back themselves, not how I can do it by myself back at home. I sometimes have the same tight lower back and almost everything else very loose.

kdow
Jan. 28, 2011, 02:27 AM
Oh, please let me know what stretch finally worked for you! I've been to a few PT's and unfortunately I haven't been impressed. When they see me pretzel up, they just figure out how they can stretch my back themselves, not how I can do it by myself back at home. I sometimes have the same tight lower back and almost everything else very loose.

I have to sit on the floor with my legs crossed - not lotus but like this dude: http://geneaknowhow.net/in/beroepen/beroep-overig/kleermaker.JPG - and then bend forward, focusing on actually bending my back rather than just hinging forward from my hips with my back flat. (Does that make sense? It's the opposite of what you want to do in good jumping form, you DO want to curve your back, so you kind of have to push your butt into/towards the floor as you bend forward.)

To intensify it a little, I then reach forward with my arms - usually I end up putting my hands on the floor and sliding them forward, and sometimes I push against the floor and back into the stretch.

Even with that, I have to pay attention to some degree towards WHERE the stretch is happening, but the sitting position seems to help a lot because of the position your hips are in - it limits how much they can compensate for the stiff back.

(I'm trying to find an example online of someone doing this, but I'm not having any luck.)

The other thing I do that helps some is a standing spine 'roll down' - it's not actually a stretch as such, but rather something I learned from, of all places, an acting class talking about the Alexander Technique, but it does help my posture feel better. (I often do it after doing the stretch mentioned above.

For that, you stand up, feet shoulder width apart, shoulders relaxed, knees bent just slightly (rather than being locked straight) and start with dropping your head forward at the neck. Then you visualize the weight of your head pulling you down slowly, vertebrae by vertebrae, so you sort of 'roll' down til your head is all the way down like you were going to touch your toes. (But that's not actually the goal, so don't worry about actually touching them. Just roll down as far as you can - bend the knees a little more if you start feeling it too much in your hamstrings.) Just hold it like that for a moment or two, not trying to stretch anything, just relaxing into the position.

Then, and this is key, you 'roll' back up, again visualizing it going vertebrae by vertebrae, starting at the base of your spine and stacking each one on top of the one before. Again, go slow, and you WILL be using your core muscles for this to help support your spine as you come up.

Do your best to really try to think of going vertebrae by vertebrae - sometimes you'll want to kind of 'skip ahead' and straighten up a lot at once; when I've done that I just do the roll down again to just before I 'skipped' and then try again. Try to leave your head as the last thing, just like dropping your head was the first. (That's where I tend to skip, when I get up to about my shoulders - I bring my head up, but I haven't brought my shoulders up properly first. So I drop back down a little and really focus on the shoulders and 'stacking' them on top of the line of my spine, and then my neck and head on top of that.)

Like I said, it's not really a stretch as such, at least not for me, but I find it does help a lot in just making me aware of my spine and how I'm holding myself, and generally it improves my posture quite a bit. Plus, it's kind of relaxing. (You should be relaxed the entire time - I mean, you need to engage various muscles to bring yourself back up, but you don't want to tense up - just bring them in as you need them, tighten your core but still let yourself breathe, etc.)