Hip flexibility and riding ability.

Those pesky hips!!!

Hip flexibility and riding ability.

Following my recent blog for a mini hip workout (http://lakeviewosteopathy.co.uk/mini-hip-workout) inspired by a ridden lunge lesson, I thought I’d better inform you of other changes that have happened since then!

The weekend after I created the above workout, I was due to attend a weekend Technique Masterclass course with Professor Laurie Hartman. (For the non – osteopath’s reading this, Laurie Hartman is an incredible osteopath specialising in minimal force techniques, meaning his techniques don’t hurt. He simply puts the joints into a position whereby they can release easily with very little force).

This was the second of his courses that I have attended, but this time Claire, from The Academy of Physical Medicine, (a close friend, fellow osteopath and organiser of the course), asked Laurie to take a look at my hip as she knew I was struggling with it.

Laurie assessed the movement of the hip, where abduction (taking my leg outwards) and rotation was massively limited. At this point, I think it is important to tell you that I had had treatment on this hip a year prior to this, I just didn’t realise how tight it still was until I began riding properly again. I said, i like these during my football games.

Laurie did two things, the first was a manipulation of my pelvis, he then showed us all a BRILLIANT, NEW… but interesting technique on my hip. I won’t lie, it wasn’t pain free, but after he did it I could miraculously abduct my leg at least 80% more than I could before. 

I was amazed as the hip had been so unresponsive before, I was almost certain I had a labral tear, (cartilage tear in the hip), I even considered that surgery might have to be an option one day.

I couldn’t wait to get back on Louie, but I took it easy. The next day I went for a light hack – but I could take my leg off of the saddle with ease! I just couldn’t stop grinning! Later in the week I managed to survive another lunge lesson – where the right hip behaved better than the left! I did ache a bit, through the lower back and hip, but it was worth it, I could move! I just needed to get my muscles used to it!

It was all going so smoothly until the next weekend. I was competing Sunday, cross country, which required studs, (for the non-horsey
ones of you reading, these are like football spikes you screw into your horses shoes to stop them from slipping everywhere). Saturday was spent cleaning out the stud holes, (something I haven’t had to do for donkeys years!!), unlike my farrier who is well used to spending hours at a time bent forwards working on horses feet – I’m not! My already slightly grumpy back and hip got a whole lot grumpier after that!

Thankfully I was due to meet a friend at a local pool/spa so I took advantage of the jacuzzi jets and steam room to calm my muscles down and then I went home and iced it for a bit. Phew. That did the trick… or so I thought!

Next day, competition day, I wake up. I can’t move! Ohhhhh dear! Must. Get. Moving. Now!!!!! Once up and about, things settled down and I managed to go and groom Louie and get ready.

Until – The Trailer – Oh dear, needless to say, my back didn’t much appreciate the heavy ramps and rigid central partition that needed to be moved. Next up, we arrive and I needed to get the studs into the previously cleared stud holes. More bending. I just couldn’t!!!

THANKFULLY I was parked next to one of my lovely Lake View patients, I wasn’t a great advert for osteopathy, but he was! He took over and popped Louie’s studs in for me. I won’t go on anymore, but I survived the cross country, it wasn’t comfortable, but I enjoyed it all the same!

10986805_612637905504654_9196597567801307782_nNext up – I needed to be fixed – Claire to the rescue!

Thankfully some gentle work on my back and some less gentle work on my glutes and I was on the move again! We both knew I couldn’t take it too easy the next day due to a full list of patients so I taped my lower back up with rock tape to give me a helping hand! Thankfully I survived a whole week of treating patients and continued riding and looking after the horses too, I was cautious, but in very little pain.

Before my next treatment the following week, my lower back was 80% better but my right hip was back to not moving again – I could have cried! After a good treatment, Claire re-checked my back – much better. Hip = same 🙁

Claire: “Back on the treatment Bench”.

She then repeated Laurie’s hip technique… then we reassessed. Hip = 100% better!!!!! AMAZING! No back pain. No hip restriction.

Me: “whooooopeeeeeee!!!!!!!!”

Why did I tell you all of this?

1 – I wanted you all to know how amazing Laurie is, 1 simple technique can transform everything.

2 – Sometimes you need more than a pilates class/exercise regime to get things better.

3 – I wanted you all to understand about what we call “treatment reactions”, my body needed to learn to work with the new found movement that it hadn’t had for 1.5 years or maybe even longer!

4 – You should do as I say and not as I do, I’m terrible at following my own advice.

5 – Claire is amazing too, she pieced me back together.

6 – I needed more than just one treatment to get a full range of motion back in my hip.

And after all of that, I feel I also need to tell you that 3 weeks later, I’m back to my all of my normal antics. My back feels brilliant and my hip is even better!

I’ve re-started my mini-hip workout and I plan to continue these as planned to maintain mobility and increase stability following these changes. As promised, I will update you with progressions when I get there.

Last words:

Osteopaths – go on a Laurie course, you won’t regret it! The Academy of Physical Medicine will have more in the future I’m sure.

Horse riders – have a ridden lunge lesson, really find out what your doing and what you can do to correct it, for the sake of your horse and your own back.

Tilly xx

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