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What is going on? Need some advice! Update - new alternative approach.

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  • What is going on? Need some advice! Update - new alternative approach.

    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
    Last edited by OveroHunter; Jan. 17, 2012, 12:02 PM.
    Southern Cross Guest Ranch
    An All Inclusive Guest Ranch Vacation - Georgia

  • #2
    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.
    If you love me let me go....

    Comment

    • Original Poster

      #3
      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?
      Southern Cross Guest Ranch
      An All Inclusive Guest Ranch Vacation - Georgia

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      • #4
        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.

        Comment


        • #5
          compressed discs in your back can cause searing hot leg pain...
          "You can't really debate with someone who has a prescient invisible friend"
          carolprudm

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          • #6
            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.
            Rest in peace Claudius, we will miss you.

            Comment


            • #7
              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.

              Comment

              • Original Poster

                #8
                Originally posted by salymandar View Post
                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?
                Southern Cross Guest Ranch
                An All Inclusive Guest Ranch Vacation - Georgia

                Comment


                • #9
                  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!

                  Comment

                  • Original Poster

                    #10
                    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.
                    Southern Cross Guest Ranch
                    An All Inclusive Guest Ranch Vacation - Georgia

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                    • #11
                      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.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        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.
                        http://jconnors1982.blogspot.com

                        Comment

                        • Original Poster

                          #13
                          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

                          I wonder if there is a reason so many of us have problems with our left leg as opposed to the right. Who knows.
                          Southern Cross Guest Ranch
                          An All Inclusive Guest Ranch Vacation - Georgia

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                          • #14
                            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.
                            When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

                            The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              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/28109...bMO?vhost=pets
                              http://pets.webshots.com/photo/28662...toa?vhost=pets
                              CLIPclop Bodyclipping by Morgan
                              Serving North GA with high quality clips.
                              --> Just Press Start // '99 Oldenburg
                              --> Always The Optimist (reg. Simply Stylin) // '02 Thoroughbred

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                              • #16
                                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!

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  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.
                                  COTH's official mini-donk enabler

                                  "I am all for reaching out, but in some situations it needs to be done with a rolled up news paper." Alagirl

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    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.
                                    Man plans. God laughs.

                                    Comment

                                    • Original Poster

                                      #19
                                      Back from the doctor...

                                      ... and I have Equinus 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."


                                      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.
                                      Southern Cross Guest Ranch
                                      An All Inclusive Guest Ranch Vacation - Georgia

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Oh fun!

                                        Sounds less serious than feared though. How did he diagnose? Ultrasound?
                                        COTH's official mini-donk enabler

                                        "I am all for reaching out, but in some situations it needs to be done with a rolled up news paper." Alagirl

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