Monday, April 21, 2008

Recovering from falling off my horse

Surprisingly, after falling off my horse yesterday, I feel almost normal this morning.

I was expecting to be quite stiff and sore when I woke up. I've found that injuries and sore muscles are usually worse the second day. So I was quite surprised when I got up this morning and realized I had no pain, and only a little stiffness.

When I fell off my horse the first time, I was extremely stiff and sore the next day — and I had only fallen on snow. Since this time I fell on pavement, I was expecting today to be even worse.

I'm not sure what the difference is, but I have my theories. My number one theory is that riding my horse afterward helped to reduce the tension and swelling in my back. As we rode, I could actually feel the pain from the fall going away. It felt like the rhythmic rocking motion of the horse's rump was loosening everything up.

The idea that a horse's movement can be therapeutic is not a new one. Hippotherapy, which is physical therapy that uses the horse's movement in exercises, is a growing movement. I've known about it for a while, which may be why I made the connection between riding and the reduction of pain in my back.

It also may have helped that I iced my back for about 2 hours last night, followed by a moderately hot bath. I also took 2 Motrin in the evening (before the ice), because the stiffness and pain had gotten worse throughout the afternoon and early evening.

Unfortunately, it seems that working may undo some of these benefits. I am sitting on the couch with my laptop on my lap, because it's the most comfortable for my back and the easiest way to ice it; however, since I started writing this blog post, I've become considerably more aware of the fact that my neck is a little stiff, probably because I have to look down at my screen.

I guess when my laptop battery dies (in about half an hour), I'll plan on finding a more comfortable position in which to work. In the meantime, I'll just keep looking up and moving my head around periodically.



At January 1, 2009 at 3:31 AM, Blogger Sheathen said...

One of my last falls (during an advanced hunter/jumper final, nonetheless!) I got the worst whiplash from my head bouncing off the ground. I swear when I was riding as a kid it never hurt that bad the day after!

At January 1, 2009 at 2:07 PM, Blogger Katharine Swan said...

I never fell as a kid, but I definitely don't remember riding -- or building up the muscles necessary for riding -- being as difficult when I was a kid. Either we've blocked it out, or there's just something more adaptable about a kid's body that lends itself to these types of things.


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