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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar. 30, 2004
    WA State

    Default Need some moral support: thoracic facet joint pain and dressage

    The better my horse moves and goes, the worse my back hurts. It's like someone is knifing my back where my bra strap goes, and I'm not happy. I'm going back for another radiofrequency nerve ablation in early October, but until then can anyone help? I've never had anything but that and prescription meds take the pain away, and I can't exactly ride all drooling and loopy and stuff. I'm just so frustrated and feel like the better rider I am and the bigger he moves and the more I follow him with my seat, the worse my back gets. I know that movement makes it worse, especially repetitive bending and flexing, but that's what dressage DOES to me!!! (No, I can't bring myself to give it up either). Moral support?
    Somewhere in the world, Jason Miraz is Goodling himself and wondering why "the chronicle of the horse" is a top hit. CaitlinAndTheBay

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec. 4, 2002
    Dungeon of the Ivory Tower


    Maybe speak with whicker on the bard - she is incredibly knowledgeable about modifying saddles for issues. maybe she can help!
    a 501(c)3 organization helping 501(c)3 equine rescues

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep. 12, 2004


    I have a PT who does osteopathic manipulations. When I get stuck and start to hurt she can 'unstick' me. It takes TONS of Pilates to get the frequence of getting 'stuck' down.

    However, TBH, if I had a big moving horse it probably wouldn't be enough.

    One thing that you might try (no guarantee) is spider tape...Maybe the one for posture? It doesn't feel like much, but it seems to make nerves happy for some reason - esp. if deep muscles are starting to spazz out.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr. 13, 2006


    Just curious......since your problem increases as you, I would assume, relax your spine and muscles to follow the horse......have you tried increasing their activity and working on following with your hips
    how is your lower extremity control hip to foot?

    Medical Mike
    equestrian medical researcher

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct. 18, 2000



    I have facet joint syndrome and it's pretty bad on the right side. I know exactly the type of pain you're having and what type of movement sets it off. And once it's set off - you're toast.

    Until you have the procedure done, try and do the following:

    Avoid any extension. This includes doing things like leaning backwards or putting your head back to wash or rinse your hair in the shower. Try washing and rinsing on one knee with your head bowed forward and with your upper body supported.

    Use a mounting block to saddle and unsaddle the horse if you can. You need to avoid any extension and/or weight in front of you or above you.

    If you can, try riding in a half seat or two point and keep your upper body as still as possible. Focus on just keeping you and your horse legged up - so you can resume real riding once you recover from the procedure.

    Keep doing your facet joint/back exercises.

    If you can get to a good massage therapist - he/she can work on your back and keep you loose. That plus modifying activity and taking ibuprofen may keep you comfortable until you have the procedure.

    Good luck.

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