With Grand National fever starting to take hold (the famous race takes place on 14th April 2018), we thought it would be a good idea to jump on (or should that be, over?) the bandwagon and talk about horse racing. Well, more specifically, horse riding, or equestrianism if you want to be a bit more technical.
Horse riding is a fantastic sport for people of all ages, skill levels and physical abilities. Not only is it fun, but it’s a great opportunity to get out and about and challenge yourself in a variety of ways. However, as we all know, animals can be somewhat unpredictable, and of course this opens riders up to the possibility of a number of injuries.
If you think of someone being injured as a result of horse riding, you will no doubt immediately think of a fall. These are undoubtedly the most common type of injuries, often resulting in serious sprains, strains and of course breaks. However, riders can also be injured by horses who have kicked out at them, or as a result of being pulled by an enthusiastic steed. This in turn can lead to muscle strains.
Reducing the chance of injury
Sometimes, things do just go wrong, and an injury can be the result. A horse spooked by an approaching car, an errant black bag or even a drain cover, can result in a serious fall. However, in some cases, ensuring you have the right equipment as a rider can reduce the chance of significant injury.
Of course, it’s not just as a result of being thrown that riders can sustain injuries. Having poor posture whilst riding can lead to long term damage to back, neck and shoulders, to name a few. It is vital to ensure that a rider has good core stability to reduce the potential damage, and they are reducing the risk of muscle imbalances throughout their body.
Treatments for injury
Many people assume that a physiotherapist can only help once an injury has been sustained, and the initial pain associated with it has passed. Of course, we can help with situations such as these; however, we are also there for prevention. It is, after all, better than cure.
As mentioned above, ensuring you have good core strength is key for optimum riding posture, and this is something we can help with. If you have an ongoing, though unrelated injury or condition, our experts will be able to provide advice, as well as specific exercises for you to perform to increase strength and mobility.
If an injury has been sustained, then your physiotherapist will be able to assist with recovery, providing suggestions on increasing your activity without putting yourself at further risk. They can also advise when you will be well enough to return to the saddle, if necessary.
If you have sustained a riding injury, or any other sporting injury, why not get in touch with the team at Active Physiotherapy, to find out more about the services we offer, and how these could benefit your recovery?