Teresa wanted to give an honest conception of Intrinsic Biomechanics Coaching and how it can help optimise your riding and well being. The best way to do this was to work with live case studies detailing their opinions and feedback.
Case study 1 - Jane
Jane is a 50 year old women who is very passionate about horses and riding. She sadly can no longer ride due to the back and pelvis pain it causes.
Reason for biomechanical assessment:
To reduce on going low back pain and potentially aiming for Jane to ride again or at the very least, have the option to the sit on a horse pain free.
As with many riders the list can be long, ,Jane over a period of 15 years has suffered many severe riding accidents including fracturing the clavicle (collar bone) and the pelvis (hips) in three places, plus a hair line fracture of the neck and a partial dislocation of right shoulder 10 years ago. She is now left with on going back spasms, occasional right knee pain that can cause the knee to giveway and constant pain in the upper arm and shoulder.
Findings from the first screening:
A leg length discrepancy of approximately of 10mm, with dysfunctions in both sides of the hips. The rear hip muscles were in spasm along with both the hip flexors which are the the muscles at the front of the hips. I also recorded nerve tension in both sciatic (leg) and median (arm) nerves.
These findings could be the cause of Jane's stiffness in the spine and her restriction in bending and rotation. The right shoulder had nerve tension and mucsle spasm resulting from it being pulled forward from the chest.
After completing a set of the leg press exercise (hip release) it showed a reduction of 2mm in the leg length discrepancy and relieved the spasm and tightness in the pelvis. It also helped improve Jane's spine and shoulder positions.
Image1 on the left shows posture before the screen,
particularly the dropped right shoulder and pronounced shoulder blades.
After corrective exercises completed during initial session
there was also an improvement in shoulder position
which is shown in the image on the right.
Jane was given four simple techniques (exercises) to perform on a daily basis
Our nerves carry the signals from the brain to the muscles and back again so if these are tight it can have an impact on how we move.
- First and second exercise - Jane was given two exercises to reduce the tension in the arms and legs.
- The third exercise was for the pelvis to help reduce dysfunction in the hips.
- The final exercise released the right shoulder to prevent forward rotation. This also improved spinal and hip mobility.
Exercises three and four needed to be performed four times per day, especially after long periods of sitting or standing or before and after any physical activity.
It should be noted that these exercises can be performed whilst walking, sitting at a desk or watching TV.
What's a muscle dysfunction?
A muscle not firing when it should, under working or over working and/or remaining tight.
Dysfunctions can have an influence on the whole body but in Janes case caused the hips to rotate, creating low back pain, a leg length difference and in turn reducing the ability to twist and bend efficiently. Her rotated shoulder would also be contributing to the dysfunctional movement patterns that may be causing pain.
Case Study 2 - Rich
Rich is a 39 years old rider and started riding in 2005 and after a climbing accident where he badly fractured his left knee he could no longer climb. Looking for a new sporting challenge he choose riding, and is have a Biomechanics assessment to optimise his riding.
Findings of the first screening:
Rich's leg length discrepancy was 6mm with both hips in spasm, this discrepancy and inefficiency inmpacts on how his body moves.
Rich's mild restriction in the lower back was to be expected with hip flexors (front of the hips and thighs) and both QL's (lower back muscles) dysfunction.
The Thoracic region(rib cage area) was also restricted in rotation - this is common with a leg length discrepancy.
Rich's upper body also has dysfunction especially in right pec minor (chest) this could be affecting his rotation as well. This can all be improved with the corrective exercise programme, good warm up and cool down prior to any physical activity and riding.
Rich had a specific warm up and cool down exercises to perform prior to riding (and all forms of physical activities) plus daily corrective exercises specific to his needs to get the pelvis working efficiently and mobility exercises for the stiffness in upper lower back.
Rich and Jane were ask to complete their programmes for 3-4 weeks before returning to being reassessed and exercises progressed.
Track thier progress in the coming weeks.
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