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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb. 14, 2003
    Location
    Windward Farm, Washougal, WA- our work in progress, our money pit, our home!
    Posts
    7,724

    Default Back to riding after major injury: support!

    Well, I finally got the "you be healed, be off!" speech from my surgeon. But....(isn't there always a but...) I feel like I'm still not nearly there yet!! I have my last PT on Tuesday, where they will hopefully give me a strengthening program to do at home...but the pain!! Ok, major whine alert--

    I hurt! My shoulder/scapula/upper arm hurts like hell still. I have no strength to lift or pull, and it hurts when I do. Surgeon said "normal" and that the next two months will show a steady improvement, and I believe him, but...(there's that but again!!)

    Should I ride? Should I ride when I'm not super strong or balanced left to right? I've ridden 4 times in the last 3 weeks, and it is going well and I survived a massive spook, that scared me, but still I end the 15 minute lesson riding one handed, due to soreness in the arm. Obviously, no jumping, I just flat, mostly trot and walk, lots of transitions and circles to keep him occupied while I build strength.

    The back of my upper arm is the worst, like a badly pulled muscle.

    I guess I'm just looking for ideas.

    I am heading for the chiropractor and massage therapist this week, that will help. Also, I'm ordering a protective vest on recommendation of PTs--would have avoided the broken ribs (my PTs are awesome--very "every patient is an athlete, get back in the game again").
    Proud member of the "Don't rush to kill wildlife" clique!



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb. 26, 2007
    Posts
    454

    Default

    As far as the surgeon's remark, I would discredit a lot of that. He would probably base that on diagnostic tests and perhaps mobility tests.

    In my own experience, and that of a few others I have spoken with who have suffered injuries, some heal well before first predicted and others take a bit longer.

    I was advised not to have a time limit to where I should be healed or to resume activities. As long as I was making progress, all was o.k.

    I would continue to ride. Riding can be so rehabilitating for mind, body and soul. Although you are concerned about your balance, if the horse is tolerant, it will improve your balance. Unfortunately, there is no way around the pain. I don't necessarily buy into the "no pain, no gain" theory, but I think it would be unrealistic to think you won't have any pain. I have found, if I can just get past the initial throb or ache, I almost become desensitized to the pain (which I don't know if that is good or bad).

    As long as you are not at risk of re-injuring (and your doctor testified that medically you are ready), I would persist. It will take time, agony, pain, but hopefully the end result will be worth it.

    If riding gives you great pleasure, you deserve to take part in that.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec. 11, 2004
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    1,733

    Default

    First, congrats on getting back in the saddle and getting the thumbs up from the surgeon!! Those are big deals IMO!!

    Second, yes, it takes time. A lot of time. I broke my shoulder 9 years ago, and still get issues on occasion (sometimes I notice that more than the elbow I obliterated last year!! ). Many muscles have atrophied, tightened up, etc over time.

    What I tried to do was use that arm as much as possible doing different things such as lifting up dishes and putting them away in the cabinet (and building up how many I could do). It was my left arm so I forced myself to do all sorts of things I may not normally do with that arm. I kept up therapy on my own for some time after the official therapy appts ended. I still go back to some of them on occasion (but probably not as much as I should ).

    As long as you know it's not causing damage, I am in the "no pain, no gain" camp WRT shoulders. Try to work through what you can, and don't be afraid to use a heating pad before exercises (advil or other pain meds help too!! ).

    I would also continue to ride, but if it's that sore by the end, how about scaling back how much you do? Or, would it be possible to take some lunging lessons? I did that after both injuries just to help regain my seat again (and, after the shoulder I really didn't have the strength right away to be using reins anyway).

    And, a post like this from me would likely not be complete without a plug for my favorite therapy book : The Trigger Point Therapy Workbook
    This was critical in getting my ROM back after the elbow obliteration, and I now have used it lots of times for other issues that have come up on other parts of my body.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct. 14, 2010
    Location
    Horse Heaven
    Posts
    2,168

    Default

    Congratulations....you already jumped back in the saddle. I agree with the theraupeutic value of riding (esp. since I volunteer and ride at a therapy barn).

    I requested my PT give me a set of exercises to do for continued recovery on my exit session. They gave me a bunch of exercises and some ideas on scaling up. (Rotator cuff required 1 year plus and lower back problems come and go). Talk frankly about your pain too, so that you are pushing enough but not pushing too hard. Given your injury, the PT should be able to discuss how to progress and not to do damage. And, if possible, request additional visits to PT if your insurance will pay (if you feel it will help recovery). I asked my primary physician and did get another few months by going once a week or every two weeks.

    Both PT and massage therapist recommend yoga to strengthen, balance and inprove flexibility. I don't care for it much, but make myself do at least 10-15 minutes a few times a week -- to great benefit. (I use DVDs from the libary).

    There may be periods of progress and some slow valleys to slog through.

    I wish I had been riding before my injuries...it sped up my recovery so much! Wishing you the best!



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar. 6, 2009
    Posts
    9,341

    Default

    Jingles for you ~ enjoy your riding ~ appreciate that yopu have been given the "go ahead" but be careful not to over do it ~ you are my hero BTW !
    Zu Zu Bailey " IT"S A WONDERFUL LIFE !"



  6. #6
    Join Date
    May. 17, 2003
    Posts
    5,849

    Default

    At one point, my surgeon cleared me to ride, "as long as I didn't fall off..."

    Genius.

    Of course, I've enjoyed the experience of have my shoulder reconstructed so much that the first thing I want to do is to launch myself from the saddle and go through it all over again.

    I suspect he's not giving that advice to horse people any more.

    Anyhow, I ended up giving it another couple of months. It was the middle of winter, icy and treacherous, and the horses hadn't been ridden in three months. So I went to the gym instead. When I did start riding again, I was in better shape and it was springtime.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb. 23, 2005
    Location
    Spotsylvania, VA
    Posts
    14,436

    Default There is a difference between healed and recovered

    It's just going to take time and work to get your strength and flexability back. Hopefully your PT will give you exercises to continue on your own.

    FWIW, don't push to hard. "No pain, no gain" is only partially true. Your muscles need exercise, but they also need rest to rebuild.
    I wasn't always a Smurf
    Penmerryl's Sophie RIDSH
    "I ain't as good as I once was but I'm as good once as I ever was"
    The ignore list is my friend. It takes 2 to argue.



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb. 14, 2003
    Location
    Windward Farm, Washougal, WA- our work in progress, our money pit, our home!
    Posts
    7,724

    Default

    Thanks so much for the words of support. I think I just needed some horse folks to talk me down off the "oh-lord-it-will-never-not-hurt" ledge.

    I had my last PT appointment last night and Mr. PT sent me away with a set of rehab exercises (well, the same ones we've been doing, just modified for home use).

    I am buying my CC vest today (ordering a custom one, as I am not "off the shelf" sized). It is both for my mental confidence and protection of body.

    My barn owner has offered me the use of their WP horses! We board at a western barn (our hunter trainer has a section of the barn), and I've not ridden western since I was a kid, but man they look safe and SLOW to me right now. I will look funny up there in my boots and breeches, but if I gain confidence then I'll be happy.

    I think I've got a plan in place to help me make the transition from scared to ride because I'll get injured again, to the formerly confident rider I was.
    Proud member of the "Don't rush to kill wildlife" clique!



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar. 28, 2006
    Posts
    215

    Default go for it

    I totally feel you, I had a serious accident last fall where I broke my back after getting bucked off my new horse that I had for 3 weeks, it was 5 months before I could even think about riding and when I did I rode my mare that I trust with disabled children. I wasn't pretty or easy but it got better and better. I am now riding both of them and have even taken the new guy to his first show. We do hunter/jumpers. I plan to post an update with pics on the one year anniversery because all the support this board offered.

    The best advise, listen to the doc, listen to your body, and your heart. Realize it is ok if you get to the barn and it doesn't feel right, don't do it. I still will have a day like that with the gelding, doesn't feel right to ride, so we go for a walk or I lunge him. Not worth another injury.

    It will get better. Good luck



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar. 6, 2009
    Posts
    9,341

    Default Bumping for an update on CC and riding ???

    Bumping for an update on CC ~ how is your riding going ??? Jingles ~
    Zu Zu Bailey " IT"S A WONDERFUL LIFE !"



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb. 14, 2003
    Location
    Windward Farm, Washougal, WA- our work in progress, our money pit, our home!
    Posts
    7,724

    Default

    ZuZu- ( without a doubt, the most positive, upbeat COTHr on the boards!):

    I haven't ridden this week. I got the worst cold and am trying to shake it by this weekend so I can take a flat lesson on Sunday. Disappointing, but the horse is happy, I'm recovering and patience is a virtue
    Proud member of the "Don't rush to kill wildlife" clique!



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar. 6, 2009
    Posts
    9,341

    Default Glad your cold is over for the Season ~

    CC ~ Feel better ~ have a productive lesson on Sunday ~ HAAACHOooo or however you spell it ~ Be glad you have already suffered through your ONE cold of the season ! Congratulations ~
    Last edited by Zu Zu; Oct. 23, 2010 at 02:15 PM.
    Zu Zu Bailey " IT"S A WONDERFUL LIFE !"



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar. 6, 2009
    Posts
    9,341

    Default CC ~ Sunday lesson update ~ hoping it was very fun !

    CC bumping for some good Sunday lesson update ~~~ we have good "mini" news from ljc and now some inspiration from my "shoulder" hero ? Hoping you had a grand riding day ~
    Zu Zu Bailey " IT"S A WONDERFUL LIFE !"



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