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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul. 10, 2012
    Area IX

    Default building muscle after back break/torn muscles?

    So I had a minor fracture in my L2 about 4 weeks ago.
    At first the doc said 3 months, and then he said 6 weeks.
    So I would like to prepare myself to riding within the next 2-4 more weeks.

    I feel that part of the reason I had an accident was because I have been out of riding practice for 2 years and just didn't have the muscle to stay on.

    I really would like to try some exercises to help build some muscle but am unsure where to start.

    The doc didn't order PT so I'm kind of on my own at this point.
    Any advice is helpful.
    Eventers of the West
    A Facebook group I created for Eventers in the West Region of the U.S.
    Remy - My OTTB Gelding! Love him to pieces!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan. 23, 2006
    Constant State of Delusion


    I would call your doctor to ask these questions, or go for a second opinion from a doc who will give you more information.

    Spinal fractures- no matter how minor- are a big deal (in my book, anyway). I would strongly recommend against starting any exercise or PT routine that is not explicitly approved by a doctor who has seen your x-rays and understands your goals.

    You can do a lot more damage to that minor fracture if you don't have professional guidance.

    Best of luck to you, and be careful out there!
    Quote Originally Posted by Martha Drum View Post
    ...But I don't want to sit helmetless on my horse while he lies on the ground kicking a ball around without a bridle while Leatherface does an interpretive dance with his chainsaw around us.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May. 25, 2003
    Orlean, Virginia

    Thumbs up Keep asking!!

    Did you see an orthopedic doc? If not you should!
    It's ok to DEMAND or ask for some PT. Sounds very appropriate for you imho. Call the office back and ask...again....riding after a back injury is important enough to have your concerns addressed. Don't be in such a hurry to return to riding please! Go with the more conservative rest/healing recommendations! Your long term success is at stake here. Take the time NOW!
    Try to find a PT that is horse savvy! Call different clinics/providers and ask..."Is there anyone there who's familiar w/horseback riding that I can see? Maybe who rides themselves?" Try different hospitals even. REALLY good if you can find a doc who treats horse peeps too! and a horse back riding orthopedist is worth his weight in gold. Even if you have to drive a long distance to see them! IMHO!!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun. 12, 2011
    Elkridge, MD


    I broke C7 and T1 and could not DREAM of riding within 6 weeks. It's only when you get back on after that you realize how hard riding is on your back and neck. A longer wait might feel like torture, but it's worth it to be as healthy and strong as you can.

    I'm assuming you just saw your GP? I would recommend seeing an orthopedist or sports medicine specialist, and then getting a scrip for PT. Nothing helped me more than PT.

    I would start with some gentle cardio, maybe swimming or walking. Start slow with a program that has you lifting weights and doing some core work (L2 is pretty low, so I'd caution you against doing crunches and the like; I find they don't work very well and usually end up hurting my back anyway).

    Be aware of what "triggers" back pain for you and STOP doing it or lessen the intensity. I ended up with severe muscle spasms and microfractures because I would just ignore when my neck/back started hurting a little and keep doing what I was doing. Don't be like me!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep. 13, 2012
    Southeast Michigan


    arobics, if you can handle them. zumba is great for riding because it works the torso and quads well but it might not work for your injury so soon.

    but doing squats, lunges, or exercises on their own like that will only build size/power. after the first few minutes in the saddle your riding muscles (back, abs, quads, lower calfs) will be gassed when returning not riding-fit. by doing the typical "PT" exercises for recovery for back/knees/etc you're kinda missing out on what english riders REALLY need! you really gotta be working your riding muscles aerobically to translate to the saddle. simple exercises work them anaerobically for the first couple minutes.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar. 18, 2005


    I broke L-1 obliterated L-2 broke L-3 tipped L-4 and L-5 45 degrees to the right and rotated them forward wich pushes my tailbone into the edge of L-5 and causes pain while sitting, broke my right hip in two places and obliterated all my lower back muscle.

    My back will never be right again, unfortunatly I am one of the cases that my back muscle was damaged so bad it will never repair even surgery won't repair it. I have been able to make it better by doing simple stretching excersies that my Chiropractor gave me to do. My surgeon whom specializes in backs said the best thing I could do was to see a Sports Med Chiro. My chiro customised the excersise I do to fit me. He also was able to put me through a regiem of stuff that actually strengthened my hip muscles wich ultimatly helps with the muscle tone and loss in my back muscles.
    I would recomend you call your DR and ask about PT or ask about a sports med Chiro. If it wasn't for my Chiro I wouldn't be doing as well as I am.

    Good luck but please call your Dr first as backs are nothing to mess with.

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