Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Oh my aching back!

I haven't been able to ride in over a week because of my back. The combination of walking funny on a broken foot and no gym time has caused the muscles in my back to rebel and they've been cramping like there's no tomorrow. It's been a bummer. I missed the last week of being able to ride in daylight after work and I had to miss this week's lesson, plus I wasn't able to get a video for my new dressage trainer. Yes, I'm feeling sorry for myself right now.

Of course Coriander doesn't mind his vacation, and I have been able to do a bit of ground  work with them. We've been doing a bit of Why Would You Leave Me (that's a video link) to help the quarters learn to bend around circles (Gwen is better than her brother at this, interesting). Then my husband came out with me on Sunday to take Coriander so I could walk Gwen again. We took them up to the top of the fields right next to the woods. Gwen saw her first downed tree and found it to be spooktastic (ow). Fortunately after only a little bit of blowing she realized it wasn't going to kill her. We then came upon her very first water crossing which she leapt over (double ow, she was leading on a loose line but her leap took her to the end of the slack). We'll have to work on those a little more but that will wait until I'm not hurting.

In the meantime I've been working on my back. I tried going to the gym, didn't help, kept going to the gym anyway. I tried taking ibuprofen, helped for a little while but wore off. I tried a hot pack, that helps but I need to have it on continuously, which means I'm running to the microwave every half hour. But after walking Gwen on Sunday and almost not being able to breathe anytime I had to walk quickly, I decided it was time for stronger action.

Time for acupuncture. If you've never tried it and you're not deathly afraid of needles you should give it a go sometime. It doesn't hurt when the needles are tapped in but it can sting a little when they are twisted after that. Once you get past the initial setup you usually get an hour to feel some really funky things happening to your body. I've gotten treatments before for migraines and for my broken ankle and every time I've gone I've felt something different.

Yesterday she put the needles in my back all along the knotted muscles and in my ankles. I felt a tingling in my back and then the familiar feeling of waves running through my body, pushing the pain out. Then something weird happened- my scalp started cramping! That was really weird, but I could feel my back relaxing as my scalp got tighter, and then it passed. When I got up I could feel the difference in my back muscles, it's rather amazing sometimes.

The good news is today I feel much better, not great yet, but closer than I was yesterday morning. Hopefully I'll even be able to ride this week!

Has anyone reading this gotten acupuncture for their horses? I'm wondering if the horses sometime exhibit strange behaviors while they're being treated, indicating that they feel odd sensations like I did.

ps: Here's another photo of us at the show http://jeffreyfootephotography.zenfolio.com/p274034696/e27f0f8c.


  1. Hope the acupuncture works miracles for your back. As a matter of fact we had it done on four of our horses today by the chiropractor/vet and they all do different things. But then she works on different areas. Dusty, nothing. Grady, practically nothing either, same for Blue. Of course, Nate was hopping around as usual and doesn't like them at all, he was shaking his head and trying to pull them out of his legs. Guess they feel differently in different spots. Feel better soon.

  2. Thank you, it's feeling better now actually. I popped in to see my physical therapist yesterday and got electrical stimulation- between that and acupuncture I'm doing pretty well right now.

    Huh, is Nate more sensitive in general than the other three?

  3. I think Nate may be more sensitive but he also has a lot more problems that we're trying to help him with. He has pssm, chronic Lyme, allergies, respiratory problems, doesn't lay down to sleep hardly ever (he has trouble getting up and down), he's just a mess. But after his treatment yesterday he did lay down to sleep last night so that's a good sign.

  4. That's really interesting, from personal experience I can say that you feel more during acupuncture if there's something major going on in your body. It must be that way for Nate too. I'm glad it made him feel good enough to lay down. Acupuncture really is amazing.