Saturday, 15 February 2014

Working with what you've got

There will be double posts this weekend as I meant to post this two weeks ago and forgot!!

This week has been a bit of a housekeeping week, I've been busy with work and Buddy had his vaccs and teeth done at the end of the week so ended up having a few more days off than I would have liked. I also had my first physio session with a new lady that works with my YO.

She works with a lot of top riders and is also a veterinary physio so understands how biomechanics affect the horse. I am very wonky and I have been for a long time but no one has been able to fix me, or help me retain straightness, in between visits. I suffered with back pain for around a year and ended up having cortisone into my facet joints as well as a physio plan. It was determined then that I had one leg longer than the other and so I wore a heel raise (or little wedgie) at all times when I'm on my feet. A few years ago I started seeing a new Chiro who said my issues weren't that I had a leg length difference but that my pelvis is so rotated it makes it look like I have a shorter leg as I'm always twisted which made total sense so it was adios little wedgie and freedom... until Friday.

I was telling my story and C (the physio) just looked at me in that way that makes you want to stop talking as you obviously aren't telling the story in the right way for them but I'd started so it was time to finish. With a shake of her head I was told to get my kit off and stand in front of the mirror. She laughed. This is becoming a regular occurence when this profession looks at me for the first time so I try not to get too paranoid... But the basics are, I'm super wonky but if you put a wedge under my left heel I'm pretty much straight. She told me of all the riding issues I will be having because of this (canter, circles and naughty hands to name a few) so its good to know I was on the right lines with my diagnosis!

C started around my pelvis and showed me how 'out' I was (my hip bones were probably an inch apart in height) and where I was twisting across my whole body to compensate. As a result my spine is curved, my muscles down one side of my spine are rock hard, some ribs are a bit dodgy and my upper back is tight as a drum. Hmmm. Then it was time for some capability exercises and, overall, I was shockingly awful! As my pelvis is so twisted, tilted and generally all wrong my muscles have shortened to compensate. I cant tip my pelvis up and so have a bit of a duck bottom (which I have been working on for years to try and sort) and my defacto answer to the questions C was asking was to push my bum out and rotate my pelvis back.

Then it was time to try and fix it. I am not going to lie.. it really hurt. I consider myself to have a very high pain threshold but the stretching of muscles waaaay out of their comfort zone really smarts! At first I was thinking it just pulled a bit and I could cope with that.. then she kept going... and going. I got up and could barely put one leg in front of the other as my coping mechanism had been removed completely.

I've been prescribed a few exercises to stretch out key muscle groups and I must not be without my little wedgie so I have put in an order and have 10 on the way. In the meantime I've got my own little wedgie that I've made to keep me going!!

I will never have perfect legs so I need to make sure I can be as straight as I am physically able to be and this is the start of yet another journey.

So an update: I went back after a week of doing lots of exercise and there was a huge improvement. I'd already noticed it riding but it was great to know C agreed. I've been given a two week reprieve, more exercises and hopefully we will see more improvement next time!!