Lower Back Disc Issues: Back On Track Brace OR Thinline Ultra Pad?
I have ruptured discs at L4/L5 and L6, with degenerating bone in the surrounding spine. Lots of pain, numbness etc.
Minimal riding, but building back up to daily riding. Sometimes 2 horses a day, but short rides. Usually one english, one western. I do wear a regular brace. I've been eyeing both the back on track human brace, and the Thinline Ultra pad, and have heard good things about both. Since both are relatively spendy, which do you feel is the more "worth it" purchase?
Back on Track brace: Is it much better than a regular back brace? Does it offer a lot of stabilization? Is it much hotter than a regular brace? I already sweat a lot in my regular brace.
Thinline or Ultra Thinline: Would this be a better bet if I already have a regular back brace? English or western? Thoughts on the "Ultra" vs. the regular? I'm riding a variety of different horses, so thoughts on the most versatile pad? The thought is obviously in getting the most benefit for me as the rider.
It's not having what you want, it's wanting what you've got.
20 years ago I began buying equalizer saddle pads for my horse because I could feel the difference in my seat and back while riding. I don't have back problems but had a horse coming off stall rest after an injury and I had to walk him under saddle daily for a month. My seat became sore after a week or so. I had already ordered a pad on advice from my vet. And when it came, the first time I rode in it I felt the difference immediately. They make english, western and endurance saddle pads. The company is Skito enterprises I think. I am sure the horses feel the difference as much as I do.
I love Back On Track products and own many of them including the back brace. In my opinion brace is a bit of a misnomer, it is more like a wrap. I don't think it would help you any more than what you are currently using. I used thinline pads for years but never felt like it did anything for the rider, it was more for the horses.
You need shock absorption so use saddle pads that are thick & cushiony. I recommend Cashel cushions.
Also...please do a search on this forum; this subject has been covered extensively and you'll get some good info. good luck!
I've used most of these products and what I'd do in your situation is get a thinline pad for your horse, a Professional's Choice neoprene back brace, and a Back on Track t-shirt to wear every night. Do NOT put your BOT shirt through the dryer at ALL, it will ruin the fabric and you'll have to get another one. (ask me how I know...). That will give you shock absorption, stabilization, heat therapy from the neoprene while you're riding, and then all night to get the benefits of the BOT. Their "back brace" doesn't offer much support at all. That Professional's Choice one is really really nice, and it's quite adjustable.
Somewhere in the world, Jason Miraz is Goodling himself and wondering why "the chronicle of the horse" is a top hit. CaitlinAndTheBay
I was having many major back issues (and from the tests results probably will have many more issues as my back is a mess--I'm 66). However, I would caution about the back brace as it gives a false sense of "core" and doesn't really build up the core muscles. I did 8 weeks of Physical Therapy that my orthopod recommended (I declined the narcotic pain killers) for my back and still continue to do the exercises almost daily, and what a difference! I also invested in a Prolite pad for my horse, but mainly for me. They are a bit pricey ($130) but I think it is worth every penny--I was riding 6 days a week until the weather turned wintery.
Keep in mind that if you wear a back brace on a regular basis, your core muscles will come to depend on the support & the muscles will weaken. Physical therapy to strengthen your core muscles will strengthen your core, and support all the muscles around your spine will help the most... Pilates and yoga are good too, as long as you start very slow.
Wearing a BOT brace or such is fine, as long as you wear it for an hour or two a day.
I've had three lumbar spinal fusions plus disc issues and I was a medical asst. for an ortho surgeon who only took care of spines. Trust me! Physical therapy is your friend. Best of luck to you.