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Thread: Hypermobility and horse riding

  1. #1
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    Default Hypermobility and horse riding

    Thought i'd put this in here as its not 'really' horsey but does anyone else have any problems with hypermobility/joint pain when they ride? Is there any way of getting through it?

    I was diagnosed with hypermobility syndrome about 2 years ago after getting really bad pains in my knees when i ride, i've since realised that i have it in my elbows, wrists, ankles, basically everywhere!

    Since i've been riding more and more it feels like its getting worse. Over the last couple of weeks i've gone from being comfortable enough riding with slightly sore knees to being in agony from the moment i get on from my back through to my feet. I feel almost unnatural in how i'm sat and last night just rising trot was pure pain

    After about half an hour i loosened up enough that i could school effectively but by the time i'm about to get off i can barely straighten my legs, Locks has had to adjust to the fact that i cannot dismount quickly and i basically end up lying across him and slowly lowering myself down so that the pain isnt too sudden in my knees when i hit the floor.

    Its getting to the point where i feel like i could cry every time i ride but i carry on because i love it.

    Does anyone else suffer with their joints when riding? Is there anything i can do? I was originally given a brief physio session and about 50 exercise to do A DAY. I dont even know where the piece of paper with them on is now...
    ♥Locki ♥ My love for you is everlasting ♥

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    I have Fibromyalgia (which i can never spell!), Chronic Fatigue and Arthritis. I am hyper mobile in some joints but not enough to be classed as Hypermobiility Syndrome.

    I've found stretching everyday has helped when riding. Although I'm not going to lie and say that i'm never pain free when I ride because to some degree there is, and always will be, pain. It's just learning to manage it. On bad days I have a walk round the field and on a good day I have a three hour hack.
    It's the only way I've found I can keep myself going and enjoy most days with the horses. The doctors refuse to give me painkillers on the grounds that "i'm too young" or something stupid. They really aren't helpful at all and just told me to quit riding and take up swimming (Although Swimming is a great form of exercise and has helped me in the past with reliving pain, if you can i do recommend going swimming)

    Sorry I can't be much more help.
    Big hugs from me. I know what it's like to be in that much pain. (I'm still in bed right now because I'm having a bad day pain wise, luckily it's my day off)

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    Thanks

    Im thinking a good stretch might be wise, i was doing yoga before the summer holidays and i think that helped as she really paid attention to my over bendy joints so i'll get back into that when it starts up again.

    Its so annoying as my friends all love going out on long hacks but im always the boring one who wants to go on a short hack as it hurts too much to sit there for that long

    I hate swimming as it makes my asthma bad and hurts my elbows! But i have read that its best for joints so maybe i should attempt going every so often.

    Funny thing is i can run for half an hour on a treadmill or on the road without any pain (most of the time, unless i twinge something!)

    I was gonna go back to the doctors but after your post stephiibean i dont know that i'll bother!!
    ♥Locki ♥ My love for you is everlasting ♥

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    Yea. I did Yoga in college which really helped and then when i left did Pilates and that really helped. I keep meaning to go again but never get round to it, need a kick up the back side to get it sorted.
    I'm on my own with 2 other people so quite lucky in that the people who are with me really understand, so we go as far and as fast as i think i can manage. My mum also goes out with me occasionally and she only likes a small plod. I do have friends come down too but all are quite understanding.
    Swimming is good for joints, I really enjoy it but then everyone says I'm a part time fish once i'm in the water. Even just going to a pool and sitting in the water might help, not doing laps? Sometimes I find it nice to just be in the water.

    I fell off a treadmill and did serious damage to my knee last time I got on one. Funny thing was I was fine running on it, finished my run and got off, fell over and damaged my knee! I don't run on a treadmill unless I have to now but when i'm with the kids and running round the fields I'm fine. I think its because its different degrees of stress on certain areas. Does that make sense? Horse riding is quite a demanding thing in a completely different way to running.

    It depends what your doctors are like. Mine are rubbish. Hospital and GP's haven't tried to help at all and I've written so many letters of complaints. I'm fed up of fighting doctors when i'm in pain. I'm back at the doctors tonight about something else but am going to mention my hands and see what they offer. (My hands are arthritic and have been getting increasingly worst!)

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    Default Re: Hypermobility and horse riding

    I have Ehlers Danlos syndrome so lots of similarities. It hurts!

    Supports are a godsend! Sports wrap type things, and Alexander technique helps. The biggest help that I had was definitely my saddle though! ! ! I'm never going back to a treed saddle, ever! Barefoot London is the most supportive saddle I have ever sat in. it really helps me loads!

    And yes doctors are awful - i'm too young for pain killers as well apparently! Took them 5 years to diagnose me too, and sill most people have never heard of it despite being medical professionals...

    Xxx
    THE EQUINE INFORMATION EXCHANGE Equine information, not speculation.

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    Ooh okay, i had supports but they're really big and if i put a support on everything i might aswell be wrapped up in bubble wrap! Something thinner might help though.

    My friend has a barefoot saddle! Maybe i should try it and then save up for one, she looks so much more comfortable then me when she rides!

    To be honest to get diagnosed in general i had to go private... I went to a physio who had no idea and referred me for an MRI but i had private cover at the time so used that, had an MRI and the surgeon told me they could find nothing and almost accused me of LYING!!! I wouldnt leave until he suggested something so he referred me to a rheumatologist who took one look at my hands and diagnosed it immediately! All i want is pain relief but i'm guessing if you're both too young for painkillers then i am too!
    ♥Locki ♥ My love for you is everlasting ♥

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    I got accused of lying too, seems a standard thing for them to do! The health system really is cr*p. So called experts know nothing and won't help in the slightest.

    Never thought about supports. I often use vet wrap when i'm at the yard around my back, knees etc. I might look into getting some proper supports instead.

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    Default Re: Hypermobility and horse riding

    I love supports, you can get neoprene ones in pound shops now! and I only wear lots when i'm having a bad day lol.

    I had to go private for physio too :-( only six Weeks at a time and only one area of treatment, no good if you have a condition that hurts all of you!

    if you get a barefoot (I love love love mine!) Make sure you get one with knee rolls and blocks, that's the important bit! Helped me loads!

    Xxx
    THE EQUINE INFORMATION EXCHANGE Equine information, not speculation.

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    Like Sadie, I've got hypermobile Ehlers Danlos. I've not ridden in about eighteen months because the pain is steadily getting worse despite being on a permanent supply of opiates. I had a little sit on River bareback a few weeks ago which was awesome, but my god I suffered for it afterwards!

    It's difficult to know what to do for the best. It took me fifteen years to get properly diagnosed (I had to go private, too) after being told it was JRA, hypochondria, growing pains, fibro and all sorts. I very much subscribe to a "use it or lose it" philosophy and refuse to be entirely dependent on my wheelchair, but it's a catch 22 as the more active I force myself to be, the more dislocations and other injuries I sustain, and then I spend weeks or months recovering so I lose all the muscle tone again. Swimming has become a no no for me, as my fingers, wrists, shoulders and ankles dislocate from the water pressure and although I should go and just do some hydro exercises without swimming, it's too frustrating and tempting to just do laps instead!

    Careful stretching beforehand, so as not to hyperextend your joints, can help as can splints, supports and strapping to protect fragile joints, but I've not yet discovered a way to make riding bearable. A lot of my splints I bought myself after consulting with an occupational therapist about what would suit me best, as my NHS ones were far too bulky for regular use, and my OT even managed to sort me out with Fischer walking sticks, as crutches kept dislocating my wrists and thumbs.

    It's madness that your doctor thinks you're too young for painkillers! I was on codiene by 15, tramadol at 22 and now at 27 I'm taking buprenorphine via a patch so it's in constant supply and have morphine for bad days. Yes, you do end up in a position where you have to move up dosages and change meds as your body adjusts, but although I moan that the buprenorphine doesn't ever make me pain-free, I had a few days without it when I placed my repeat prescription a bit late and was absolutely bedridden despite having no acute flare ups at the time, so it's obviously making a massive difference to my quality of life.

    If you can, I'd recommend seeing an OT (I was able to self-refer although my GP is generally pretty happy to sign off things for referral when I think I need them) and discussing better supports and maybe even learning how to strap certain parts (I tend to do my ankles and wrists when I ride as even my nicer supports still feel too bulky when it comes to giving aids). It's really a horrible uphill struggle and it's taken me an incredibly long time to get the medical professionals around me to take me seriously and then to reach the partnership I've got with my doctor around managing it. I'd also suggest speaking to someone at a Riding for the Disabled venue about what tack and equipment that might help and see if they can recommend a more comfortable saddle that can be fitted to you as well as your horse. The daftest things, like where the stirrup bar is positioned make a big difference to position and can put real strain on your back, hips, knees and ankles.

    I hope you figure out a way to make riding more comfortable. Nothing's nastier than having your hobby cause you pain

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    if your pain is that bad i would really push your consultant for some form of pain relief. Im only 24 but im on 8 x 50mg of tramadol a day, im still in pain but the next dose up is morphine which they wont give me due to age.
    There shouldnt be a reason for them not to prescribe you pain relief because of your age unless its morphine. They will start you on something minimal like a low dose of cocodemol etc and see how you go.

    I know how you feel pain wise i have Fibromyalgia and Psoriatic arthritis, riding is particularly hard, i suffer with my legs and back in the saddle mainly, but i can deffo vouch for Sadiesparkle with the Bareback saddle it is AMAZING! i have a back support and i do find knee supports are helpful as well. But to be honest it is mainly a case of managing the pain as much as you can which is rubbish i know.
    I have to pace everything i do now and make sure that i have regular breaks which is pretty rubbish but in the long run it means i can do more myself without having to get help!

    Can you get a refferal to a pain managment clinic? they are a big help mentally in learning ways to cope with the pain so that it doesnt rule your life or your riding.

    Riding wise im working on teaching my youngster how to work with me, so when i ride i may look pretty horendous but elmo knows what my leg aids mean, and if i tap his shoulder because my legs are in pain etc etc then he knows what im asking and thats going pretty well for me and has made a difference for me in being able to ride with some less stress on my joints. But granted Elmo is only 4 and ive been working with him since he was a baby and i was diagnosed so not a quick fix but a possibility.

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