For the rider!
For years I have been struggling with my hands, to make them quieter. I have done yoga, massages, chiropractic, holding onto straps, the whip over my thumbs, everything, and while there has been improvement, there is still an annoying bounce. It frustrates me to tears at times.
I have a friend who once noticed that my shoulders don’t move, I get terrible knots in my back and under my shoulder blades, in posting trot, there is a pull in the tops of my shoulders on every down post when I am holding a strap to force my hands to stay down.
I finally thought to ask my doc about this. She keeps me sound and has kept me sound through my arthritis and bad disks with a variety of injections and procedures. I was in for the usual lower back, but thought to tell her and ask if there was something she thought I should try. And she did…she did a set of injections in my neck (not my shoulder?), gave me a referral for physical therapy and xrays, and set up a follow up appointment. She also asked my why I had never mentioned this to her before…er, well…I don’t want to be a whiner, and back pain is invisible so it seems so whiney to complain, when I just thought I should be stretching more, working harder, doing more yoga, blah blah blah. Oh, arthritis is likely causing nerve impingement which is causing all this spasm? I can fix this? Seriously exciting concept!
The next day, I could feel those knots under my shoulder blade starting to dissolve. Then I went to the PT, and she observed that my shoulders don’t move, nor does my thoracic spine move as much as it should. She confirmed what my doc said, and it is probably coming from my neck, which is pain free, so I never would have suspected my neck. She worked on it, and while that injection is already wearing off (it was a diagnostic sort, not a long term sort) I feel like this PT is going to help…and I’m starting to get a bit of movement.
In addition to this, I had signed up for a Feldenkrais series of classes, on improving your natural balance in riding. I really am not worried about my balance or falling, but I wanted to try Feldenkrais and thought I might figure out some insight. Last night was working on the main body. She called it all the chest, but essentially meant the torso the entire length of the spine. Holy crap, by the end of the class, she had my entire spine moving. Like, I have not felt it move, ever in adult memory. There were some crackles and pops in there and things moved that had been locked for ages, but I cannot wait to tell the PT about this and hopefully she can help me continue to get and keep this movement!
I had lessons this morning on Neuf and Bali, and they were good. I’ll write that up separately, but I’m feeling optimistic that if I can fix ME, a ton of my riding issues will just dissolve…like those damned knots!