PROGRESSION AND IMPROVEMENTS - Real life case studies reap the benefits of using Biomechanics

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 Teresa Dixon and our real life case studies give an update on their progression and improvements after just four months of
Biomechanic coaching

tersa and_jane_imageCase study 1 - Jane's progressions by Tersa Dixon - BioMechanics coach:
(click here to read Jane's historiacal problems
Jane has been working hard on improving her mobility and muscle balance around the pelvis and has now progressed into stabilising the body. This involves progressive mat work exercises initiating the core (this is not just the abs!) lower back, waist, pelvic floor muscles as well as the six pack that everyone assumes is the core. 
Jane now feels and looks so much better and is even considering riding again, To achieve this goal, our next stage is to enable Jane's core to support her body and bring function back to her seat ensuring she has good control when in the saddle. 
We will be working with Jane on and off the horse which includes a lesson with Angela Weiss of Papplewick Equestrian Centre. We will ensure that Jane has  good movement patterns (riding position and ability) and any old dysfunctions patterns that were present post injury and caused pain, do not remain. I feel this is an essential part of ensuring Jane has pain free symmetry and stability in the saddle.

                                                                                                                                               Feb 2013   Oct 2012 
jane oct_imageImages to the right show: Jane Feb_image
Shoulders are level and not as twisted (hands are now by hips in Feb picture) shoulder blades are less winged sitting closer to the rib cage, hips are level now and more importantly Jane has reduced pain.
Jane updates us on her progress:
I had become resigned to the fact that I would always suffer from varying degrees of pain and discomfort from my previous riding accidents, MRI scans, physiotherapy and painkillers all had no conclusive outcome; then Horse Answers Today introduced me to Teresa. Dixon
I must confess to not knowing anything about biomechanics prior to my first screening last October, this didn't matter as Teresa's extensive knowledge, enthusiasm, passion and pure common sense approach lifted my hopes for the first time for potentially having a pain free future.
Following a very thorough assessment, Teresa identified my leg discrepancy, hip spasms and nerve tensions throughout my spine and performed some very gentle manoeuvres - immediately my leg discrepancy was reduced by 8mm, amazing and it didn't hurt a bit! 
To relieve the dysfunctions in my shoulder hips and spine she fully explained and demonstrated four exercises followed by a brilliantly illustrated, easy to follow written summary for my reference.
I admit to being a little sceptical as to how such small movements could help, however I had nothing to lose and was intrigued to discover more about the mechanics of my body and how every nerve and muscle effect's posture and pain.
I found I could do the exercises to relieve my shoulder pain simply by walking my dogs and the two sitting exercises could be done as a car passenger or watching television. I was still baffled as to how these simple exercises could help as my past experience could only relate worthwhile exercise with strenuous workouts and a certain amount of pain; Guess this is where I had been going wrong all theses years! If only I knew then what I know now!!!
After two months I had my second assessment which showed that my pelvis was now functional and my spinal movement had improved slightly, although my shoulder was still tight. Teresa introduced further core exercises to do alongside the first ones; these would start to gently engage the lower back. 
The programme to date has made me aware of my overall posture which has definitely improved, I now walk taller with my shoulders back. I now know that at any point of an ache in my shoulder or lower back, there is a simple exercise i can do to relieve the pain. - it has been a revelation. 
Now that I have learnt how to perform all the core exercises and can feel the benefits they give, I am now confident enough to attend a Yoga class each week and do my Wii fit Plus programme. 
My latest session with Teresa showed more gradual improvement which was hugely satisfying for me, and I have now progressed to more strengthening exercises for my lower back, buttock muscles and chest. Teresa also recommended that I buy a resistance band kit to use in conjunction with some of my exercises which work really well. I still can't believe that only a few months ago I had resigned myself to a life of constant pain, I am now genuinely excited about my future and look forward to my next screening which will be on a horse,  something I never thought I would be able to do again (2 years out of the saddle) - now that really will test my progress!

Case study 2 - Richard's progression by Teresa Dixon - Biomechanics coach:
Teresa and_rich_image(Click here to read Richards historical problems
Rich has been progressing well. His hips are functioning and he is gradually moving through a routine of  stretching, mobility and core  exercises that will help complement his riding. He has been working hard to mobilise his upper back, stretch his chest and strengthen his core and back to improve his poor posture, caused by years of desk work and has had a negative influence on his riding posture. 

Rich also attends the gym regularly so we have developed a fitness and mobility routine to enhance his riding and bring about better movement patterns in his daily life, Rich is a great example of what we do off the horse can have a powerful influence when we are on the horse.

                                                                                                                                             Feb 2013    Nov 2012
Rich Oct Rich Feb
Images to right show:
Rich's posture has dramatically improved. He is now standing very tall with an open chest, thumbs are now facing forward so less ape- like (knuckles forward) as in the initial assessment photo (Nov 2012)
Next time see the results of a team effort from Centaur Biomechanics (on horse screening) and a flat work riding lesson with Angela Weiss.

Richard updates us on his progress:
As an active rider I always felt that I wasn't totally balanced and although I am fairly fit and strong I knew I wasn't as effective rider as I could be.

Over the past months Teresa Dixon Biomechanics coach has been working on various areas of my body including my hips/pelvis, back and shoulders, setting me core exercises that would help me and my riding. The exercises were very effective but also deceptively easy. I was amazed that there was no over exertion or pushing hard to reach a goal, the exercises are simple and very targeted, using only limited amounts of strength/effort (typically 20%). And thankfully not huge sequences to remember either!
As the weeks past and the exercise program increased, I began to feel and notice the improvements, I now find it easier to sit deeper in the saddle and feel the movement of the horse through my seat, my balance and upper body position has improved and at a recent cross country day my coach even mentioned that I was looking a lot more stable and secure in my jumping position, which in turn helped my confidence.
I am delighted with my improvements and how they reflected in how my horse being more responsive to my aids, he has also improved in his straightness and his confidence of riding into jumps.
The improvement in my everyday posture is now very noticeable, with friends telling me how much taller I stand. My coaching is on-going and I am so looking forward to next month and my on-horse screening and flatwork lesson with Angela Weiss. 
The results to date have been fantastic and very noticeable, I would recommend Teresa's Biomechanics coaching to all my friends and riders.

Next time we show how Jane and Richards improvements help them when they get in the saddle.
fit-for-ridingIn summary the benefits of biomechanics coaching:
  • Improvement in riding skills
  • More pleasurable riding
  • Less discomfort for you and your horse 
  • Move more freely on and off your horse
  • Recover quicker between rides