Being an equestrian requires a lot of care for your horse. But, while you are focusing much of your time and attention on the well-being of your horse, you may find yourself experiencing some of the most common equestrian injuries. These injuries can make riding incredibly difficult and unpleasant.
If you have devoted much of your life to riding, you likely want to return as soon as possible. When experiencing equestrian injuries, you should seek treatment from a qualified physical therapist who can relieve much of this discomfort.
Here are some of the most common equestrian injuries and the ways your physical therapist can help you recover from each.
1. Wrist Injury
Repetitious wrist movements can lead to irritation and injury, including carpal tunnel syndrome, stiffness, or broken bones. If these problems are left unaddressed, these injuries will continue to mount, even resulting in arthritis, and make riding an unenjoyable experience. If you are an avid rider, this pain can be incredibly disheartening, tarnishing a favorite activity.
Treatment for these common equestrian injuries varies greatly and includes custom splinting, joint movement, and muscle and tendon retraining. Splinting should help your wrist heal more quickly, while the remaining treatments should strengthen and stretch the muscles in your wrist, preventing inflammation from persisting.
Often, being thrown from a horse is a quick, unexpected event that can result in some incredibly damaging equestrian injuries, including whiplash. Whiplash occurs when your neck experiences rapid back-and-forth motions, resulting in stiffness, loss of range of motion, and tenderness of the muscles.
Whiplash can quickly turn into a much more significant injury if it is left untreated. Your physical therapist, however, should be able to help you through this process. They should be able to help you relax the muscles in your neck to eliminate stiffness. They may also perform therapeutic exercises, which can calm inflammation and restore motion and mobility.
3. Back Injury
One of the most common equestrian injuries is back pain and spinal injury. While many of these injuries occur during accidents, some follow regular riding. As your body experiences regular weight redistribution during a ride, your back takes much of the impact. This regular experience can result in irritation and inflammation.
Many exercises assigned and performed by your physical therapist will improve back strength and ease weakness. Following these exercises as assigned should enhance your quality of life and allow you to return to riding comfortably.
4. Hip Pain
Hip pain and injury among equestrians are common due to several factors. Many equestrians begin to feel hip pain after bending over and lifting heavy objects. Hip pain may also start after riding, as riders experience impact during their rides. The positioning of your hips can also put a strain on your muscles.
Your physical therapist can help you recover from hip pain through movement exercises. They will also provide you with at-home movements to increase your hip strength and mobility. By regularly performing these exercises, any inflammation you experience in the muscles through your hips should begin to fade, and you will notice improved flexibility.
One of the most common head injuries experienced by equestrians is a concussion. Even when wearing a helmet, your head is susceptible to this unpleasant injury, which makes riding almost impossible. A concussion occurs when your brain rattles around in your skull, resulting in dizziness, headaches, and light and sound sensitivity. The regular jostling of your body while riding can exacerbate these symptoms.
You can create a rehabilitation plan with a physical therapist to slowly address and improve your symptoms. They may begin by requiring rest and relaxation, which is often enough to alleviate symptoms. However, if your symptoms persist, they may perform strength and endurance exercises, as well as balance activities. Treatment for a concussion will likely move slowly to ensure your symptoms don’t reappear before you have fully healed.
Treating Equestrian Injuries With Wasatch Peak Physical Therapy
If you are experiencing any equestrian injuries, it is essential that you reach out to an expert for help as soon as symptoms emerge. Working with a physical therapist will protect you from further injury. Wasatch Peak Physical Therapy provides a variety of services to help equestrians recover as quickly as possible and improve overall strength. With several locations across Northern Utah, we are confident that we can help you handle these unexpected injuries.
Contact our team today if you would like to meet with a physical therapist to address any equestrian injuries you are experiencing.