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Riding after a concussion from a fall...

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    Riding after a concussion from a fall...

    Anyone sustain a severe concussion and have balance and coordination issues returning to riding?

    I took a bad fall off a colt the beginning of June. Essentially landed on my head, grade 2 concussion, crack costal cartilage in my chest among a mirage of other things.

    ER referred me to a concussion specialist who thought physical therapy for my concussion and physical injuries would be helpful.

    I have been in physical therapy for over two months now but still struggling the most with coordination...I will have good days and bad but often will have moments where example....my right leg is moving completely out of rhythm with the rest of my
    body. I recognize it’s not acting normally but can’t que my brain to que my leg back in rhythm. note: it’s not always the right leg, just an example.

    I had a pretty severe eye twitch for about 6 weeks that effected my balance but since that has left, my balance has been a bit better but I know its
    not normal yet.
    PT isn’t worried...they said that there is no normal
    and that the brain just has to continue to heal itselpf.
    Overall, i have been very happy with the PT...they have worked hard to come up with a program for my recovery but I’m often frustrated that it’s taking this long.
    Along with the above issues that come and go, I experience severe frontal lobe headaches that don’t seem to have a trigger.

    anyone else out there recovering or already recovered from a concussion?

    #2
    I am sorry to hear about your fall and injury. I know that a former poster took almost a year to feel really normal.

    There are a few books that could be useful to you (I hope you are able to read). Norman Doidge writes about neuroplasticity. My Stroke of Insight is also good. And Prognosis, by Sarah Vallance, is about her fall from a horse and recovery.

    Patience, perserverance, and good luck!

    Comment


      #3
      If you are having continuing neurological deficits, have they done an MRI or CAT scan of your head recently?

      A brain bleed (creating pressure on the brain) can occur after the event which will not show up right after the injury occurs.

      Do not confuse motion and progress. A rocking horse keeps moving but does not make any progress.
      Alfred A. Montapert

      Comment


        #4
        I think pluvinel is right about having further medical workup.

        I had a really bad fall (horse related) almost 2 years ago. Yours "only" happened in June. It took me probably a good YEAR to feel like myself again. The doctors told me the brain takes a long time to heal, and the best thing I could do was allow it, not try to push it, because the harder I pushed the longer it would take. I don't know what 'grade' my concussion was, but I know I was out cold for several minutes.

        I say, give yourself a break. It's going to take time.

        Comment

          Original Poster

          #5
          Originally posted by pluvinel View Post
          If you are having continuing neurological deficits, have they done an MRI or CAT scan of your head recently?

          A brain bleed (creating pressure on the brain) can occur after the event which will not show up right after the injury occurs.
          Yes, I had a CT about a month ago and my doctors indicted nothing abnormal.

          I’m a horse trainer by trade so unfortunately hard to just say, I’m going to not ride for a few months. However, I have cut down on my riding, allowing an assistant to warm horses up so I only have to get on and do the “important stuff” if you will....which is incredibly hard for me because I’m a control freak and like to handle all facets of my horses training. 🤣
          I’ve also cut back my work hours in an attempt to allow my brain and body to heal. It’s a tough balancing act.

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by TheHunterKid90 View Post

            Yes, I had a CT about a month ago and my doctors indicted nothing abnormal.

            I’m a horse trainer by trade so unfortunately hard to just say, I’m going to not ride for a few months. However, I have cut down on my riding, allowing an assistant to warm horses up so I only have to get on and do the “important stuff” if you will....which is incredibly hard for me because I’m a control freak and like to handle all facets of my horses training. 🤣
            I’ve also cut back my work hours in an attempt to allow my brain and body to heal. It’s a tough balancing act.
            I expect your Drs and PT people have explained many times that with brain injuries, measured rest is very important to let connections happen again properly.
            Brains are very plastic and what gets disrupted is trying to heal, but does best when it is not competing with what still works being very busy itself.

            Damaged parts need measured quiet to heal best.
            Once healed, then you can go back to push it and let that hamster in the wheel go back to running.

            Try for now to take things easy, not let yourself fret, the PT should have mental tricks for you to try for that, so your brain has the rest it needs to do a good job getting back to your normal.
            Healing feels like a step forward, then two back, then three forward, so patience with yourself is important.
            Good luck all is over quickly now.

            Comment


              #7
              I've had several students with severe concussions that have gone to concussion clinics and specialists (I'm a high school teacher, not a riding instructor). One kid was out of school for an entire year and a half while he his brain healed and ended up dropping a grade to do his senior year. He had everything from personality changes to headaches. Another kid had too many concussions playing soccer and was basically told if he continued in that manner he was putting his future at risk. He had to switch to running track. Both were extremely intelligent, top of the class boys. There have been many others, but these two really stand out in my memory.

              For a serious concussion I do not think having symptoms a few months out is at all abnormal. At least from what I've seen. And I would warn you that the risks of REPEAT concussions are substantially worse and you should be cautious, though I'm sure a number of doctors have already lectured you profusely about that.

              Comment


                #8
                I know this is a horse forum but you might be interested in reading Racing to the Finish: My Story written by Dale Earnhardt Jr. In his driving career he suffered multiple concussions. His last concussion ended his driving for the year (June, 2016). He writes of the difficulties he had in his lengthy recovery. This is a 'car racing' book, it is more, at least for me, a book on how difficult recovery from concussions, particularly multiple concussions over a period of time, can be.

                He did drive a final year in 2017 after which he retired. He's been in a few one-off races since but not as a full-time driver.
                Oh, I have slipped the surly bonds of earth, And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings; John Gilliespie Magee, Jr

                Comment


                  #9
                  Head injuries are notoriously difficult to deal with - one symptom often being poor decision making - and the effect can last a life time. Sorry, that is way they are. Time and rest is the best treatment and pushing yourself to continue to work and to ride can be very counter-productive. Personally, I found my McTimony chiropractor to be best at sorting me out, surprisingly, but she is also a rider and understands the mindset.

                  As a side note, the substantial majority of inmates in UK prisons have had a head injury in their past. It can be a life changing event and never something to under-estimate.
                  "Good young horses are bred, but good advanced horses are trained" Sam Griffiths

                  Comment


                    #10
                    The brain heals when it heals, as frustrating as that is. To try to push it beyond its abilities before it is ready to return results in fatigue, loss of focus and headaches. Not worth the price you pay.

                    I would also urge you to return to your doctor. He or she needs to see this issue with the leg and may order more imaging. When you are ready, he/she may also be willing to give you a referral to be seen by an orthopedic doctor and/or a Rx to physical therapy to help get your leg muscles properly synced up to your brain again. My concussion lasted 8 months and my knee on my leading leg was damaged in my fall. They had all sorts of exercises to get that leg to work properly again. Best of luck to you! <3
                    "The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits." Albert Einstein

                    http://s1098.photobucket.com/albums/...2011%20Photos/

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Thankfully I have not personally dealt with this, but have been around 2 different riders that have. Both were over a year to feel anywhere close to normal. One like yourself is a professional and tried to push through but finally had to take a break from the riding portion.

                      Instead of being frustrated think of your brain injury as if it were any other major injury to your body. Badly broken ankle likely 2 to 3 months before you are even back in the saddle. Just because your injury is invisible, it doesn't mean it isn't still there.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by Chief2 View Post
                        The brain heals when it heals, as frustrating as that is. To try to push it beyond its abilities before it is ready to return results in fatigue, loss of focus and headaches. Not worth the price you pay.

                        I would also urge you to return to your doctor. He or she needs to see this issue with the leg and may order more imaging. When you are ready, he/she may also be willing to give you a referral to be seen by an orthopedic doctor and/or a Rx to physical therapy to help get your leg muscles properly synced up to your brain again. My concussion lasted 8 months and my knee on my leading leg was damaged in my fall. They had all sorts of exercises to get that leg to work properly again. Best of luck to you! <3
                        TheHunterKid90 ....I echo what Chief2 says and would urge you to go back to the neuro doc for a follow-up visit or at leasst a check in. You said your fall was in June. Sometimes it takes a while for problems to show up.

                        Do not confuse motion and progress. A rocking horse keeps moving but does not make any progress.
                        Alfred A. Montapert

                        Comment


                          #13
                          In many cases with head trauma, there is continuing injury which progresses sometimes months on. Sections of the brain might have to rebuild connections, scar tissue might be forming, small bleeds might continue to be happening, there are some ki ds of injuries where cns fluid builds up in the brain. Your neurologist should be able to tell you exactly what your injury entailed, and whT kind of damage you received. This will help you understand how to ask him to explain how it heals. Depending on the injury, it can be a year or longer to recover. If it were a minor concussion you would be recovering a bit quicker. You apparently had quite an injury, and possibly not your first ever concussion? Not all or even any of the above is what happened to your brain, but i used it to give you an idea of what kinds of things can happen with a head injury. I would try to get a hold of your MRI report your CT scan report and anything else the do v s have said about your inhury and have your doc explain to you what happened.
                          My warmbloods have actually drunk mulled wine in the past. Not today though. A drunk warmblood is a surly warmblood. - WildandWickedWarmbloods

                          Comment


                            #14
                            OP I would find some of the responses here to be particularly depressing (and also a few that didn't read your entire OP). I'd encourage you to not be too disheartened. Years in the future you will look back on this as that weird time when your leg wouldn't do what you told it to. Also, I had a major medical event in the spring and the health care industry is a MESS. They do the best they can, but in general, just a mess, and Covid isn't helping. It seems like EVERYONE is distracted. YOU know your body better than anyone else and don't be afraid to tell Drs, nurses and other medical professionals how and what you are feeling even if you think it might sound crazy. And trust your gut. If your gut is telling you something, repeatedly, you should tell your Dr. They might not believe you, but at least you put it out there.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by Ruth0552 View Post
                              YOU know your body better than anyone else.... And trust your gut. If your gut is telling you something, repeatedly, you should tell your Dr. They might not believe you, but at least you put it out there.
                              Sadly, poor decision-making is symptomatic of head injury. Impulse control can go, emotional control can be lost, a person's character can totally change. Head injuries are REALLY SERIOUS so get medical advice and follow it.
                              "Good young horses are bred, but good advanced horses are trained" Sam Griffiths

                              Comment


                                #16
                                Sadly, it just takes time.

                                Assuming your medical professionals are on board, you could check out Feldenkrais. There is a dressage trainer, Dave Thind, who teaches it for riders. It's simple movements and coordination based - not exercise based. I think he has some lessons posted on his Facebook page.

                                Comment


                                  #17
                                  Originally posted by Willesdon View Post

                                  Sadly, poor decision-making is symptomatic of head injury. Impulse control can go, emotional control can be lost, a person's character can totally change. Head injuries are REALLY SERIOUS so get medical advice and follow it.
                                  Yes, and she should listen to the advice of her doctor, not a bunch of people on the internet. And while poor-decision making and impulse control CAN happen, they don't always. Not every head injury is the same and just because you might've witnessed something, or experienced something, doesn't mean that she will. I'd say if the OP is seeking the experience of others and taking her PT seriously, and is aware of what symptoms she's experiencing, it's unlikely that she is make poor decisions due to a head injury. She might be making poor decision because she's a horse person and it's her job, but I doubt it's from a head injury. Again, she should consult with her Dr.

                                  Comment


                                    #18
                                    I have a history of various concussions and my last one in 2015 was severe enough to result in loss of consciousness (as well as several other non-neurological injuries). The advice you’ve been given here is sound for the most part. You *do* know your body best, but you also have doctors to advise you for a reason. Neurological injuries take notoriously long to heal and sometimes there is progress while other times it seems like a regression. With your job of training horses you are at serious risk to another head injury, one that could be worse if your brain hasn’t healed from the first injury. I don’t mean any of this to be discouraging, but my experience from neurological injuries causes me to promote caution. Be very open and frank with your physical therapist as well as your neurologist. Tell them *every* symptom you have that troubles you so they can provide you with the best care possible. Good luck!

                                    Comment


                                      #19
                                      Originally posted by Where'sMyWhite View Post
                                      I know this is a horse forum but you might be interested in reading Racing to the Finish: My Story written by Dale Earnhardt Jr. In his driving career he suffered multiple concussions. His last concussion ended his driving for the year (June, 2016). He writes of the difficulties he had in his lengthy recovery. This is a 'car racing' book, it is more, at least for me, a book on how difficult recovery from concussions, particularly multiple concussions over a period of time, can be.

                                      He did drive a final year in 2017 after which he retired. He's been in a few one-off races since but not as a full-time driver.
                                      I was going to suggest this book as well. It is very enlightening.

                                      Comment

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