Category: Spinal Cord Injury | Author: Stefano Sinicropi | Date: February 2, 2015
Horseback riding comes in many forms – from leisure riding, to professional horse showing competitions, to horse racing. All types of horse racing can lead to spine conditions and injuries, whether from an acute accident, or a repetitive stress injury that builds over time.
The focus of this article is the effects of horseback riding on the spine. We will discuss the types of spinal injuries and conditions that can develop from riding a horse, and talk about the best treatment options for each condition and injury.
Horseback Riding Spinal Injuries
The act of riding a horse is very hard on the spine. As a horse gallops, the rider is subjected to an up and down motion that puts pressure on the spine. This repetitive stress can build up over time and result in spinal conditions like herniated discs, or osteoarthritis.
Horseback riding can also lead to acute spinal injuries from a single accident. Falling off of a horse is particularly dangerous. These spinal cord injuries must be diagnosed and treated immediately to prevent any potential paralysis.
Treating Spine Injuries from Riding a Horse
As with any spinal injury or condition, the proper treatment depends on each patient’s specific situation and the extent of the injury in question. Minor bulging discs, for example, may be treated with conservative, non-surgical options like chiropractic techniques, physical therapy, and steroid injections to relieve pain. If the injury or condition is causing extreme pain or the threat of permanent nerve damage is present, a minimally invasive decompression surgery is usually the best option. This procedure frees of the impinged spinal nerves, relieves pain, and provides stability to the spine.
If you are an avid horseback rider experiencing back pain, make an appointment with a spine doctor to examine your condition and make a plan for treatment.