Does Pain Compromise your Love for Horse Riding?

Does Pain Compromise your Love for Horse Riding?
19 Aug 2016

Chris is one of our many riders and is not alone when he presented at Kesson Physio with low back pain, which worsened when riding. Chris struggled in both trot & canter and in particular on his right rein. Each time he rode he would get back pain after 20 minutes and have to stop riding. Sound familiar?

His experienced instructor was forever telling him to sit deeper in the saddle and use his pelvis. I can picture him muttering under his breath “I’m trying, I’m trying”. It was only when his instructor told him the benefits of physio for equine riders that he thought he would try it out and hope to find a solution to his pain & discomfort.

Chris came to physio with a slightly curved spine (nothing to worry about) and what us professionals call “pelvic dysfunction”.  Basically means he couldn’t differentiate movement from pelvis to his lower back. This is essential in riding: for the rise & fall of trot and shock absorption in walk. Additionally, he had decreased movement in his lower back with weakness.

In February we did the basic digital “ViMove” assessment, which accurately measured his movement and compares it to normative/ideal values. Ideally it should look like an egg however Chris’s looked like a skewiff pyramid (below image). In English he was struggling to bend forwards, backwards and particularly lean to right. Yes….you’re spot on, that is probably why it’s more painful on his right rein.


Chris had 4 physio sessions with us working on getting the lower back and pelvis moving. in addition to exercises at home (wouldn’t be physio without exercises). Chris attended our latest “Fit2Ride ViMove Riding Clinic” where we assess the rider whilst riding. Below are Chris’s recent results. Spot the difference.  He has greater movement in all ranges more specifically right lateral.


Chris now has no pain, he has 2 intense riding lessons a week and is making fantastic progress with jumping and pole work. He has physio every 4 weeks to ensure he remains injury free, make further improvements and therefore maximise the enjoyment he gets from riding. Physiotherapy is so important in maintaining a healthy supple person, hence why Charlotte Dujardin has her own private physio 4 times a week.

If Chris’ story sounds familiar then it can be sorted by Kesson Physiotherapy.

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