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View Full Version : What is going on? Need some advice! Update - new alternative approach.



OveroHunter
Nov. 7, 2011, 01:23 PM
Sorry, kind of long. I really appreciate any help!

I have started two threads pertaining to the pain I get in my lower leg/foot when riding and I think I have finally narrowed down what is causing the pain... but I have no clue why. In a nut shell, I get this hot pain going through my lower left leg and into my foot. First thread was asking about new paddock boots because I thought my 8 year old, extremely worn in Ariats were causing the problem. Didn't help... The second thread about asking about angled stirrups that would help me distribute my weight across the balls of my feet easier... Helped a little, but still a lot of pain.

Well during this time, I was not riding my more narrow WB because we were waiting on him to have surgery on a shoe boil and have been riding my extremely wide paint much more often. The pain was getting worse and worse! Well I rode my WB two days ago for the first time in about 2 months and couldn't believe the difference in my lower leg! There was a little pain, but barely any.

I think (absolutely not an expert on any of this) that it may have something to do with my hips. I, for some unknown reason, cannot turn my left toe out while riding, but I have no problem with my right foot. I am thinking a narrow horse must help because there is less movement in my hip...

Anyway, has anyone experienced this? What helped? It's not like anything else during the day causes me pain, so I would feel a little silly about going to the doctor as a 24 year old complaining about her hips!

Any advice or tips would be appreciated. I am selling my WB and intend on keeping my paint as my forever horse and it is killing me that I have this problem. Half the time when I ride, I have just been dropping my left stirrup, but that isn't a solution to the problem :no:

alittlegray
Nov. 7, 2011, 01:43 PM
A "hot" pain sounds like a nerve issue...could something about the way you are sitting on the narrower horse be pinching a nerve? If your foot is turned inward too far, you may be compressing the nerve root located above the knee, the saphenous nerve. I had issues with this nerve after a surgery and would have a hot or burning pain down my lower leg.

OveroHunter
Nov. 7, 2011, 02:27 PM
I feel the pain on the outside of my leg, about half way between my knee and ankle and then all the way down to my ankle. Does that sound like what you had?

Tiffani B
Nov. 7, 2011, 02:41 PM
I don't have the exact same pains as you do, but a similar relationship between width of horse/saddle, hip pain, and ankle/foot pain.

My hips get very sore when I ride wider horses, and my right thigh and foot will burn and/or go numb. On a narrow horse, my hips don't hurt at all or much less, and I only have two toes that go numb.

I just bought the MDC sport stirrups with the swivel top and hinged footrest, and for the first time in years I had NO numb toes or hip pain. I'm pretty ecstatic!

I would try different width horses to see if you can narrow it down, try a swivel stirrup, and maybe even try lengthening your stirrups by one hole when you're on the wider beast. I've found a slightly longer stirrup on the wide horse feels similar to my normal stirrup length on a narrow horse.

mroades
Nov. 7, 2011, 03:05 PM
compressed discs in your back can cause searing hot leg pain...

ToTheNines
Nov. 7, 2011, 03:25 PM
This may be helpful (or not) but I had a sharp pain in the ball of one foot. It seemed like a nerve pain. I started taking MSM and I can hardly feel it anymore.

If you try it, get the "pure" kind. It at least claims to be free of heavy metals, which I have heard can be a problem with cheap MSM. I am not sure how much of this is fear mongering though.

salymandar
Nov. 7, 2011, 03:39 PM
I did not read your previous threads, but have you considered seeing a chiropractor for yourself? I won't hazard to guess what the cause of your pain might be, but I chiropractor might be a good place to start. We are always recommending them for our horses, but sometimes we need them, too! Up until a recent accident, I had never seen one (or had accupunture or massage), but my horses have had many appointments. Chiropractors have been very helpful for me and number of my friends/family members.

OveroHunter
Nov. 7, 2011, 03:52 PM
I did not read your previous threads, but have you considered seeing a chiropractor for yourself? I won't hazard to guess what the cause of your pain might be, but I chiropractor might be a good place to start. We are always recommending them for our horses, but sometimes we need them, too! Up until a recent accident, I had never seen one (or had accupunture or massage), but my horses have had many appointments. Chiropractors have been very helpful for me and number of my friends/family members.

I have seen a chiro and I have all sorts of upper back issues because of my very "top heavy" frame. I also have uneven hips. I can't remember which one, but one is higher than the other. The leg thing is relatively new. It probably has been this bad for less than 6 months. It basically started when I started riding my paint english more often. For the longest time, I concentrated on my WB for hunters and just played around with my paint western or bareback for the most part.

It is definitely a hot, searing pain that goes from slightly below the middle of my leg down to the ankle along the outside towards the back of my leg. It only hurts if I put weight on it. I can ride without the stirrup all day long. If it is a nerve thing, should I just go to my GP and explain what is happening?

believetobe
Nov. 7, 2011, 04:31 PM
I have been dealing with a very similar pain for two years now. Unbearable hot and shooting, the more over fences or two point I do the worse it gets. Riding w no stirrups or not riding is the only thing that helps. I finally, through an MRI was diagnosed with a tear in my peroneal tendon (ankle to middle of calf on the outside of the leg). I will be starting physical therapy soon and if that doesn't help I'll have to get surgery. It is common amongst runners, bikers, riders and dancers apparently. I hope yours is something else! Good luck!

OveroHunter
Nov. 7, 2011, 04:50 PM
You guys really have me thinking. Another big difference between my two horses is their movement. My paint is a very flat mover, so I have to carry myself much more on him which means more weight in the stirrups. My WB is a gorgeous uphill mover with great impulsion in the trot so he practically does the posting for me and his canter is so nice and up hill, that I do not have to put as much weight in my stirrup to hold myself up and in the right spot... The big difference is my WB puts me in the right spot and I have to do it myself with my paint... I think I'm going to talk to the Dr., but it's hard to test any theories unless I actually see what helps while riding.

Aliascml
Nov. 8, 2011, 10:24 AM
I have also been experiencing a pain in my left leg lately. My leg has a hot and stabbing pain on the left side of my leg that starts above my ankle and goes halfway up my leg. I do not feel to have total control of my left leg because of the pain at times. I have tried riding with shorter and longer stirrup leathers and different stirrups, but have not been able to find anything that helps. Both of my ankles have always been really stiff and I have difficulty putting my heels down. I have an appointment with my doctor in two weeks. I am very interested to see what others have to say about their experiences that are similar.

jconnors
Nov. 8, 2011, 10:30 AM
I have this same pain... Tried explaining it to my doctor once and because he couldn't recreate the pain he just blew it off. I went back to regular stirrup irons and that seemed to help some. As long as there is no weight in my left stirrup it doesn't hurt. I am also interested in what others have to say.

OveroHunter
Nov. 8, 2011, 10:46 AM
I was actually able to get an appointment with an ankle and foot specialist for tomorrow morning, so I'll let everyone know what he has to say. I am worried that he will want me to have an MRI and those are so expensive and I have a high deductible plan :no:

I wonder if there is a reason so many of us have problems with our left leg as opposed to the right. Who knows.

findeight
Nov. 8, 2011, 02:05 PM
BTDT, found an excellent chiro with alot of MD training in neurology and orthopedics- who was also from a family of riders. Problem was shooting pain down outside of left lower leg. L5 vertabrae was displaced creating nerve pressure.

If you are right handed, your left leg is actually the dominant one. Plus we get on and get off the horse onto the left leg subjecting the hips to more twisting and weight carrying to that side.

No quick cure but adjustments, decompression therapy and a series of excercises to stretch and strengthen the hips/hamstrings really helped, so did losing 15 pounds and "natural" supplements to reduce inflammation.

Ice on the lower back for immediate relief, even when the pain is elsewhere. Stretching the upper hammie and an assortment of hip flexibilty excercises (sit in chair, cross one leg over the other and rest it on thigh, bend forward keeping back straight). They really help when it really hurts and well as help in the long run.

Good luck with your appointment and don't be afraid to seek more information and treatment alternatives. Keep us posted.

TwoDreamRides
Nov. 9, 2011, 12:52 AM
I had searing pain through my ankle up my calf to my knee while riding two separate horses: my own & my trainer's 3 yo. I attributed it to her flex irons, as I have weakened ankles from improperly cared for sprains. At one horse show, I was showing both horses and the pain was excruciating. My anke gave out, and I literally had NO aility to 'lock it' again. One of the show mom's is a physical therapist and said the the width of the trainer's horse was putting my leg at a different angle and that was causing me to roll it while riding. She ended up wrapping my ankle joint so that I had no flexion. The extra support helped me and I continued to wrap before riding for the next 3 months. I guess I eventually built enough strength in that joint that it took care of itself. But I do remember that searing hot, excruciating pain jolting up through my leg and combined with the difference in horse builds you are describing, I wonder if you are having something similar.

For reference, confo shots taken of the 2 horses that weekend where it was so ridiculously bad:
http://pets.webshots.com/photo/2810921640097599294KtVbMO?vhost=pets
http://pets.webshots.com/photo/2866225310097599294kBUtoa?vhost=pets

Nikkimen
Nov. 9, 2011, 02:00 AM
Mine is my left leg as well but my problem stemmed from a fractured pelvis and broken back. I have residual scar tissue that causes my vertebrae to sit funny which narrows the opening that the nerve actually goes through which causes the fire like hot pain that runs down my left leg. Lots of chiropractic work as well as massage has helped me. Good luck to you and hopefully it gets better!

TheJenners
Nov. 9, 2011, 02:23 AM
I'm just posting in here so I'll get a notification when OveroHunter comes back from the doctor! ;)

Actually, my guess is a nerve. Hot usually = nerve. I tore my peroneal tendon as well, except in my foot, and while it certainly did hurt, it was not a hot pain.

Flash44
Nov. 9, 2011, 09:33 AM
Has the chiro at least done xrays???? They are cheap, and can at least tell whether or not the spacing between your vertebrae is sufficient and even. Any narrowing will show a possible disk issue, and when a disc begins to bulge or even herniate, it can press on a nerve. You probably have a disc pressing on a nerve and it gets aggravated when you ride. You have a nerve that runs from your low back all the way down the outside of your leg and ankle into your foot. If that is your area of pain, then skip the foot specialist and see a back specialist.

The good news is that this can usually resolve with anti-inflammatories, back exercises, physical therapy/chiro, and sometimes injections.

I hope that your chiro did not begin treating you without doing xrays of your spine...if so, consider a new chiro.

OveroHunter
Nov. 9, 2011, 10:21 AM
... and I have Equinus (http://www.footphysicians.com/footankleinfo/Equinus.htm) which is a fancy word for a short heel cord. Basically when I started riding my paint much more often english, I put a lot of weight on my heel and tore my gastrocnemius aponeurosis, which is a tendon where the calf muscle meets the tendons that go down to the achilles tendon. The hot pain is because there is a big nerve right there as well and it is shooting the pain all the way down to my heel and the ball of my foot.

I found this awesome quote descibing it:

A medial calf injury is often seen in the intermittently active athlete, often referred to as the "weekend warrior."

:lol::lol:

Basically, I have to take some strong anti-inflammatories for the next two weeks, and do a bunch of stretches in the morning and night and before and after I ride. After I ride I also have to ice it. He said to go easy on the riding at first and then as my tendon heals and gets stronger to ride longer and harder.

TheJenners
Nov. 9, 2011, 08:44 PM
Oh fun! :lol:

Sounds less serious than feared though. How did he diagnose? Ultrasound?

OveroHunter
Nov. 10, 2011, 10:47 AM
All he did was stretch my foot in the all these weird positions until I got the searing pain going through my foot. Then he made sure that if he did it to the other foot that I did not have the pain. He said he could MRI it to confirm, but it wouldn't change his treatment at all. However, if I don't get better in 3 weeks, he said I'll need a walking cast so that I walk evenly and do not move my ankle :(

Jackie Cochran
Nov. 10, 2011, 11:25 AM
I do not know if this will help you because most of my leg pain was in my feet, then it radiated up.

The Fillis stirrups, of any type, were hurting my feet big time, so much so I was thinking of stopping riding. I found a pair of the old Prussian sided stirrups and my sole pain went away never to come back. The old Prussian sided stirrups have wide bars for the foot to rest on versus the knife edges of the Fillis stirrups. Stubbed still makes the Prussian sided stirrups and the old Peacock safety stirrups are also Prussian sided. I will NEVER buy a Fillis stirrup again.

The spurs, most of my spurs have equal length side branches. I could wear my old unequal branched POW spurs with absolutely no pain, but when I went to spurs with the equal side branches the pain started and never let up. I finally used a Cashel pad to cushion the heels and sides of my feet and I feel a lot less pain. I wish that more types of spurs were made with the old fashioned unequal branches.

OveroHunter
Nov. 10, 2011, 11:54 AM
I do not know if this will help you because most of my leg pain was in my feet, then it radiated up.

The Fillis stirrups, of any type, were hurting my feet big time, so much so I was thinking of stopping riding. I found a pair of the old Prussian sided stirrups and my sole pain went away never to come back. The old Prussian sided stirrups have wide bars for the foot to rest on versus the knife edges of the Fillis stirrups. Stubbed still makes the Prussian sided stirrups and the old Peacock safety stirrups are also Prussian sided. I will NEVER buy a Fillis stirrup again.

The spurs, most of my spurs have equal length side branches. I could wear my old unequal branched POW spurs with absolutely no pain, but when I went to spurs with the equal side branches the pain started and never let up. I finally used a Cashel pad to cushion the heels and sides of my feet and I feel a lot less pain. I wish that more types of spurs were made with the old fashioned unequal branches.

Can you show me a pic of what they look like? I am having a hard time visualizing them. Sounds interesting though!

findeight
Nov. 10, 2011, 06:51 PM
They are just wider (front to back) on the bottom where your foot rests. They look a little clunkier then a fillis but, unless you are doing competitive 3'6" Big Eq, I doubt anybody will even notice. Fillis actually are fairly new as far as being the go to choice, the Prussians have been around since...at least...the Prussians and whoever they took the style from-like the Romans or even further.


I wonder of they would help those that have pain in the bottom of the foot right where it rests on the back of the tread???? Never thought of that-more width to more evenly distribute the pressure...hmmmmm...

Jackie Cochran
Nov. 10, 2011, 07:30 PM
I don't have a picture. On google or yahoo just ask for "Stubben Prussian style stirrup irons" and you will be directed to many pictures.
The branches of the stirrup come down to about an inch above the tread where they widen out into a sort of flat plate. When I keep the base of my bit toe against the stirrup they feel comfortable and secure.
I just wish they still made double offset stirrups in the Prussian style. I love the double off-set stirrups but the Fillis ones are just too painful for me to use any more.
I did not realize why the Fillis stirrups hurt me so much until one time I had to replace a pad. The metal where the foot rests is maybe 1/8 or 1/16 inch wide, very narrow, sharp and painful!!!!

OveroHunter
Jan. 17, 2012, 01:01 PM
So the special stirrups and the foot and ankle specialist didn't do me a lot of good. I rode on Sunday and could only ride for a few minutes at a time before my leg would be screaming in pain and I would have to rest it. For those who haven't felt nerve pain - it's like thousands and really hot bubbles going through your lower leg and down to your foot :(

I talked to a friend and there is a local legend of a sports massage therapist in Athens who works on riders and horses and is a master of athletic tape. He worked on me this morning and turns out my entire right side is effed up because of a bad riding accident 5 years ago. I won't go into the boring details but basically my right side is able to adequately support my body weight by evenly distributing it across my right side. However, on my left side my left hip and shoulder are so locked up that my leg, specifically the outside of my leg, was forced to support all my weight.

This is what caused the tear the foot and ankle specialist was talking about. The specialist though, did nothing to fix the problem, just treated the outcome.

I definitely recommend this to anyone with similar trouble!