• Welcome to the Chronicle Forums.
    Please complete your profile. The forums and the rest of www.chronofhorse.com has single sign-in, so your log in information for one will automatically work for the other. Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here are the views of the individual and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of The Chronicle of the Horse.



Forum rules and no-advertising policy

As a participant on this forum, it is your responsibility to know and follow our rules. Please read this message in its entirety.

Board Rules

1. You’re responsible for what you say.
As outlined in Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, The Chronicle of the Horse and its affiliates, as well Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd., the developers of vBulletin, are not legally responsible for statements made in the forums.

This is a public forum viewed by a wide spectrum of people, so please be mindful of what you say and who might be reading it—details of personal disputes are likely better handled privately. While posters are legally responsible for their statements, the moderators may in their discretion remove or edit posts that violate these rules. Users have the ability to modify or delete their own messages after posting, but administrators generally will not delete posts, threads or accounts upon request.

Outright inflammatory, vulgar, harassing, malicious or otherwise inappropriate statements and criminal charges unsubstantiated by a reputable news source or legal documentation will not be tolerated and will be dealt with at the discretion of the moderators.

2. Conversations in horse-related forums should be horse-related.
The forums are a wonderful source of information and support for members of the horse community. While it’s understandably tempting to share information or search for input on other topics upon which members might have a similar level of knowledge, members must maintain the focus on horses.

3. Keep conversations productive, on topic and civil.
Discussion and disagreement are inevitable and encouraged; personal insults, diatribes and sniping comments are unproductive and unacceptable. Whether a subject is light-hearted or serious, keep posts focused on the current topic and of general interest to other participants of that thread. Utilize the private message feature or personal email where appropriate to address side topics or personal issues not related to the topic at large.

4. No advertising in the discussion forums.
Posts in the discussion forums directly or indirectly advertising horses, jobs, items or services for sale or wanted will be removed at the discretion of the moderators. Use of the private messaging feature or email addresses obtained through users’ profiles for unsolicited advertising is not permitted.

Company representatives may participate in discussions and answer questions about their products or services, or suggest their products on recent threads if they fulfill the criteria of a query. False "testimonials" provided by company affiliates posing as general consumers are not appropriate, and self-promotion of sales, ad campaigns, etc. through the discussion forums is not allowed.

Paid advertising is available on our classifieds site and through the purchase of banner ads. The tightly monitored Giveaways forum permits free listings of genuinely free horses and items available or wanted (on a limited basis). Items offered for trade are not allowed.

Advertising Policy Specifics
When in doubt of whether something you want to post constitutes advertising, please contact a moderator privately in advance for further clarification. Refer to the following points for general guidelines:

Horses – Only general discussion about the buying, leasing, selling and pricing of horses is permitted. If the post contains, or links to, the type of specific information typically found in a sales or wanted ad, and it’s related to a horse for sale, regardless of who’s selling it, it doesn’t belong in the discussion forums.

Stallions – Board members may ask for suggestions on breeding stallion recommendations. Stallion owners may reply to such queries by suggesting their own stallions, only if their horse fits the specific criteria of the original poster. Excessive promotion of a stallion by its owner or related parties is not permitted and will be addressed at the discretion of the moderators.

Services – Members may use the forums to ask for general recommendations of trainers, barns, shippers, farriers, etc., and other members may answer those requests by suggesting themselves or their company, if their services fulfill the specific criteria of the original post. Members may not solicit other members for business if it is not in response to a direct, genuine query.

Products – While members may ask for general opinions and suggestions on equipment, trailers, trucks, etc., they may not list the specific attributes for which they are in the market, as such posts serve as wanted ads.

Event Announcements – Members may post one notification of an upcoming event that may be of interest to fellow members, if the original poster does not benefit financially from the event. Such threads may not be “bumped” excessively. Premium members may post their own notices in the Event Announcements forum.

Charities/Rescues – Announcements for charitable or fundraising events can only be made for 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organizations. Special exceptions may be made, at the moderators’ discretion and direction, for board-related events or fundraising activities in extraordinary circumstances.

Occasional posts regarding horses available for adoption through IRS-registered horse rescue or placement programs are permitted in the appropriate forums, but these threads may be limited at the discretion of the moderators. Individuals may not advertise or make announcements for horses in need of rescue, placement or adoption unless the horse is available through a recognized rescue or placement agency or government-run entity or the thread fits the criteria for and is located in the Giveaways forum.

5. Do not post copyrighted photographs unless you have purchased that photo and have permission to do so.

6. Respect other members.
As members are often passionate about their beliefs and intentions can easily be misinterpreted in this type of environment, try to explore or resolve the inevitable disagreements that arise in the course of threads calmly and rationally.

If you see a post that you feel violates the rules of the board, please click the “alert” button (exclamation point inside of a triangle) in the bottom left corner of the post, which will alert ONLY the moderators to the post in question. They will then take whatever action, or no action, as deemed appropriate for the situation at their discretion. Do not air grievances regarding other posters or the moderators in the discussion forums.

Please be advised that adding another user to your “Ignore” list via your User Control Panel can be a useful tactic, which blocks posts and private messages by members whose commentary you’d rather avoid reading.

7. We have the right to reproduce statements made in the forums.
The Chronicle of the Horse may copy, quote, link to or otherwise reproduce posts, or portions of posts, in print or online for advertising or editorial purposes, if attributed to their original authors, and by posting in this forum, you hereby grant to The Chronicle of the Horse a perpetual, non-exclusive license under copyright and other rights, to do so.

8. We reserve the right to enforce and amend the rules.
The moderators may delete, edit, move or close any post or thread at any time, or refrain from doing any of the foregoing, in their discretion, and may suspend or revoke a user’s membership privileges at any time to maintain adherence to the rules and the general spirit of the forum. These rules may be amended at any time to address the current needs of the board.

Please see our full Terms of Service and Privacy Policy for more information.

Thanks for being a part of the COTH forums!

(Revised 1/26/16)
See more
See less

Who rides with a Herniated Disc? UPDATE POST #33

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Who rides with a Herniated Disc? UPDATE POST #33

    Had an MRI done this week and the results show a herniation in one of my discs that is pressing on one of my nerves. Not bad enough for surgery, although I am being referred for possible steroid injections. I can handle the pain, the hardest thing to swallow is my very firm instructions not to ride for 8-12 weeks at a minimum. I was told if I ride I risk a rupture or the possible need for surgery.

    Any suggestions or similar experience with this would be helpful
    Last edited by Private Diamonds; Jan. 27, 2009, 07:03 PM.
    COURAGE is being scared to death, but saddling up anyway. ~John Wayne


  • #2
    I do! I do! Did you know that 70% of Americans have herniated discs, and probably most of the riders out there do, too? You are in the majority!

    The pain can take awhile to settle down, as in several weeks, which can be discouraging and boring. REST is essential. DO it. DO everything your doctor tells you. Use ice; use heat; use massage around (but not so much on top of the injury site) the injured disc, b/c MUCH of the pain comes from spasmed muscles. You can release them yourself. Take a full amount of rest, strengthen your core and upper leg muscles, catch up with friends, and practise holding that core while doing any and all movements.

    Core strength and doing any lifting (regardless of weight), tossing (hay, blankets), etc. activities should be done with really tightened core muscles to keep the spine from taking the impact of such movements; in the meantime, you can work with a good chiro or your pT person who can review good body mechanics so you can arrest any further damage when you go back to your normal life. WHICH YOU WILL DO. Rest so taht the disc and nerves and the surrounding tissue can return to normal without risking any flareups. It will be worth it. Guaranteed.


    • #3
      I rode for years with a herniated c5-6 disc...not to mention continued with cleaning stalls,moving hay,etc,etc of farm life. Over the years I was told the same as you, not bad enough for surgery, per several MRI results,so I just basically lived with the pain.I was miserable to say the least! I did injections,NSAID'S, rest...nothing really helped.Then one day at a horse show my arm started moving uncontroallably on its own..it was freaky!I went to the Dr. the next day, more MRI scans, and although the scans still showed not much damage, the Dr after seeing my arm move by itself, decieded to send me to a surgeon.They preformed a discectomy and bone fusion with a titanium plate.Surgeon told me after the surgery that the damage was much more intense than the MRI indicated, and he didn't know how I had gone as long as I did with the pain.The surgery was the best thing I ever did.It was instant pain relief!!and although I still ride, I am not able to do the level I was at before, I do not lift anything over 20 lbs by myself, and I'm very cautious about what horses I get on, to minimize the risk of a fall.Apparantly surgery can weaken discs above and below the one they fixed causing the same problem, which is why they put off surgery as long as they can.Stay vigilant with the doctors and don't underestimate your pain level to them, be good to yourself, and find others to help you with the heavy stuff, and keep riding in some fashion.If you're like me I'd rather be dead than with no horse to ride!


      • #4
        Originally posted by Private Diamonds View Post
        Had an MRI done this week and the results show a herniation in one of my discs that is pressing on one of my nerves. Not bad enough for surgery, although I am being referred for possible steroid injections. I can handle the pain, the hardest thing to swallow is my very firm instructions not to ride for 8-12 weeks at a minimum. I was told if I ride I risk a rupture or the possible need for surgery.

        Any suggestions or similar experience with this would be helpful
        Oh, I'm sooooo sorry. There are few things more painful. I've suffered from multiple herniated disks over the years due to a bad back injury sustained when I was 19. Against the will of my doctor, I never took more than two weeks off from riding and that was only because I could barely move.

        The last bout was 2005 (two disks). I went through 12 weeks of intense physical therapy and traction (3-4 days a week) and it took those full three months to really see much progress. I was able to hack my horse by week two and was showing again within a month. Not pain free, but it was tolerable. I did move down to 2'6"-2'9" because the larger fences really bothered it.

        The one thing I will advise you is to be very careful. I have a bomp proof, older horse that wouldn't even think to buck, let alone stop at a fence unless there was a huge problem. While all riding is risky, if you are going to ride, stick to the safer, easier horses. I wouldn't be getting on any greenies that will jerk you or worse dump you!

        Several years later, I feel pretty good. I have a flare up now and then, but as long as I nip it in the bud, I'm typically okay. I am diligent about my exercises and just being careful about what I do. I gave up water and snow skiing, and I no longer get on the young, super green horses. But, I'm enjoying my riding pain free. Good luck!


        • #5
          I have one between C4 and C5, I took about 2 months off of riding when it got too painful. In the meantime, I did other forms of exercise to try and straighten myself out (I had always had a twist in my upper body, and hunched with my shoulders due to the pain). I did yoga, swimming and cardio. When I started riding, the pain was significantly reduced, and I was no longer hunching! I think it really helps to do other forms of exercise to keep your core strong.


          • #6
            I do - L5 - S1 herniation, centrally. Not bad enough for surgery, but did do a set of 3 steriod injections that helped.

            My advice - don't do anything stupid, if you can help it. For me, that was asking hubby or friends to lift stuff, and NO SITTING TROT!! That was huge for me - now that I'm a bit better I can sit for short periods, but not like before.

            I still will screw it up (like I did the day before yesterday) but I go see my chiro right away and he can usually fix me up before it gets really bad. That's another consideration for you - a GOOD chiro.

            Best of luck!


            • #7
              Yes! I have three herniated discs...I'm actually on bedrest at the moment...yuck! I've had this injury for almost 10 years but I'm just now at the point of making some serious riding decisions. Unfortunately, I think it is time to either retire my jumper gelding or let someone else ride him and get a very calm ammy hunter. I've lived with the chronic pain for a long time but it's almost unbearable now.

              The things I've found that help the most are doing a lot of stretching before riding and laying on an ice pack for 30 minutes after I ride. If I am good about these two things- I am usually okay. Who knows what I did this time! Good luck!

              Oh- and follow the doctor's orders...the time off will pass soon enough!


              • #8
                Originally posted by Personal Champ View Post
                I do - L5 - S1 herniation, centrally. Not bad enough for surgery, but did do a set of 3 steriod injections that helped.
                That's where I have a herniated disk as well. It happened in a fall when I was 15.
                I had a lot of chiro work done after the accident, which helped quite a bit. Riding in the begining was horrible (hell, I couldn't even tie my own shoes so riding was just a leetle painful). I couldn't sit trot or ride anything too bouncy for a long time. I actually sold my children's hunter in favor of a couch-like large pony because the horse was too much of a big mover for me to deal with at the time.

                Four years later I had a steroid injection and that was a huge huge help. It eliminated most of my daily pain.

                It's been 12+ years and I'm pretty fine. I won't say I never have pain when I ride (trotting in two-point hurts after once around the ring), but completely tollerable. I am careful about what I ride, I don't play around with buckers or anything like that because my back can't take it. I keep a stock of good anti-inflamatories, just in case, but I function fine now.


                • #9
                  Yep! I have a herniated L4/5. I fell about 2.5 years ago and fractured my T12 as well.

                  Honestly, it doesnt bother me at all when riding.

                  If I ride for a long period of time, OR do a lot of two-point work my left foot will go numb and tingly from the pressure, but thats generally it. My T12 fracture does bother me on occasion when riding though.

                  I find that when I am not riding, or have not riden in a while I feel more discomfort. I think the motion and the physical strength you get from riding keeps things moving and loose.

                  Everynow and then I will get a SHARP shooting pain down my left leg from the herniation or up the left side of my back and shoulder from the fracture. But, it only last a split second and once I feel like I can breathe againI'm on my merry way.

                  Overall, it is NOT enough to keep me from riding. Now, the emotional and mental scars that are left after that fall can and have kept me from riding or doing things I once was confident at.
                  Never Ride Faster Than Your Guardian Angel Can Fly
                  Way Back Texas~04/20/90-09/17/08
                  Green Alligator "Captain"


                  • #10
                    oh i'm in this club too!

                    i'm with relocatedTXjumpr, though, my disc does not bother me at all when riding. what DOES bother it is prolonged sitting, and lifting heavy things improperly will put me in excruciating pain the next day.

                    i went through 6 weeks of PT 3x/week when it was first diagnosed, and have since continued an ab/core strengthening routine several times a week. this has made a HUGE difference for me. i let my brothers and boyfriend lift things for me, and try to avoid a lot of sitting trot, running; anything that might jar or compress my spine. correct posture also makes a big difference when i have to sit (like every day at work!). since going through PT and having to constantly sit up straight, i have recieved numerous compliments on my excellent posture.
                    Proud member of the "I'm In My 20's and Hope to Be a Good Rider Someday" clique



                    • #11
                      you know, there are a lot of COTH'ers with back issues.

                      who wants to form an "I Have Horrifically Painful Back Problems" clique?!
                      Proud member of the "I'm In My 20's and Hope to Be a Good Rider Someday" clique



                      • #12
                        I do in my neck and do pilates to work the disks apart. It has helped


                        • #13
                          I herniated L4/L5 about 10 years ago and it took nine months before I could ride again.
                          I've heard the steroid injections work very well, my husband had it done and he was back to normal in a few weeks.
                          Feel better, having back pain is no picnic!


                          • #14
                            I am still recovering from an L4/L5 with really bad sciatica compression. I have had one injection so far, and am hopeful to return to a normal life someday.
                            My problems started end of July, and I was off work all of August, September and part of October.
                            I am glad to read the accounts that people have come back from this to ride, it gives me some hope.

                            I am working with at PT, but need to get more dedicated to doing the exercises, and hopefully learn more down the road, when I can handle them.

                            Thanks OP for posting this.
                            Tracy Geller
                            Find me on Facebook!


                            • #15
                              I rode right through my herniated disc. I highly recommend at least a little bit of rest. I was right back at work the next day. I am a professional and got hurt my first day at a new job and was afraid to tell my boss that my doctor wanted me to have 6 weeks off. I was on muscle relaxers, but still in a great deal of pain. I had to have the kids put my half chalps on for me since I couldn't bend over. That was 7 1/2 years ago and my back hurts every day...not to that extent. I wonder what it would feel like now if I had actually listened to the doctor?


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by Indy View Post
                                It's been 12+ years and I'm pretty fine. I won't say I never have pain when I ride (trotting in two-point hurts after once around the ring), but completely tollerable. I am careful about what I ride, I don't play around with buckers or anything like that because my back can't take it. I keep a stock of good anti-inflamatories, just in case, but I function fine now.
                                Right - and another thought - my chiro (a very active sort himself who broke his back in a car accident) ENCOURAGED me to ride a NICE animal - not the crazy ones I usually get, because he feels that the motion is good for the back. It loosens muscles and is good for our mental well being.

                                So, while listening to doctors is good, using common sense is sometimes better. JMHO.


                                • #17
                                  I have 3. I sucked it up and rode with excruciating pain for almost 20 years until about 4 months ago. they told me I needed to have my spine fused,no riding etc etc. I said NOT.

                                  A good chiro a few months ago saw me 3x a week for about two months and finally straightened me out. And I got flexible stirrups and a Thinline pad. That made all the difference in the world. I still have to be careful not to ovedo, and to take care of my back, but now I can actually get out of bed without taking a fistful of aleve, which is a nice change.
                                  "Perhaps the final test of anybody's love of dogs is their willingness to permit them to make a camping ground of the bed" -Henry T. Merwin


                                  • #18
                                    Pilates..it's good for your core muscles.

                                    Lay off the heat if you can...loosens the muscles temporarily but can cause worse spasms when it wears off. Ice is your friend. 20 minutes on, 20 minutes off.

                                    I've got multiple on the L/S line, been living with it for 10+ years now. 3 series of steriod injections. Again, not 'bad enough' for surgery. Tried different muscle relaxers and pain killers. I'm living somewhat comfortably now on Ultram 3-4x a day. Been on that for almost 7 years now.
                                    If you love me let me go....


                                    • #19
                                      Just wondering if anyone has tried spinal decompression??


                                      • #20
                                        Many years ago, a doctor told me I had to give up riding. Since I didn't have a horse then (but took lessons), I did. I took an entire year off riding. It didn't make a bit of difference, except that I was miserable.

                                        My back sometimes hurts too bad to ride, but it doesn't hurt as bad as not riding did.

                                        Beautiful Dreamer, I've done spinal decompression. I don't know what to say. Everything seems to help a little, short term. The spinal decompression actually hurt A LOT. But it did seem to give me a few good days. Maybe even a few good weeks. But the bottom line is -- my back has hurt for 21 years now, and it still does.

                                        I'm actually hoping to get back surgery this year.

                                        ETA: I actually think sitting the jog, and swinging my back with the movement is as good for my back as anything. My horse has a sweet little jog, and it feels wonderful when my back is stiff. Posting, on the other hand, I can hardly do. It kills me. Everybody is different.
                                        I have a Fjord! Life With Oden