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The Rider's Pain-Free Back Book - New Edition: Overcome Chronic Soreness, Injury, and Aging, and Stay in the Saddle for Years to Come

The Rider's Pain-Free Back Book - New Edition: Overcome Chronic Soreness, Injury, and Aging, and Stay in the Saddle for Years to Come


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Over 90 percent of the US population seeks help for back pain at one point or another during the course of their life. If you're a horseperson, back pain is of particular concern as it not only robs you of the joys of riding—it threatens your livelihood, as well. From grooming and tacking up, to performing a flawless reining pattern or jumping a clean round, to stacking hay bales or pushing a wheelbarrow, everything we do on and around horses demands a supple, strong, healthy back. Now, in his unique, easygoing style, Dr. Jim Warson—a neurosurgeon who also happens to be a lifelong horseman—provides all the practical information you need to understand the diagnosis and treatment of back pain—whether caused by equestrian pursuits, outside activities, illness, or heredity. More importantly, he shows readers how to prevent back problems before they have a chance to unseat you. This book includes: • "Normal" back biology and function • Congenital conditions, trauma, arthritis, and infection • Understanding symptoms and pinpointing problem areas • Tack's impact on the physics of riding • How your horse's conformation can affect your body • Traditional and alternative treatments and therapies • Techniques for saddling and mounting without stress • Recommendations for pregnant riders. In addition, Dr. Warson provides a section specifically geared toward improving rider flexibility and strength. You'll find step-by-step instructions and photo series for 10 stretches and 8 exercises for a healthy, stress-free back, allowing you to not only enjoy your riding but all your day-to-day activities, whatever they may be.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781570769337
Publisher: Trafalgar Square
Publication date: 02/15/2019
Edition description: New
Pages: 192
Product dimensions: 8.40(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.50(d)

About the Author

Dr. James Warson (ret), began neurosurgery practice in Lexington, Kentucky in 1974. He relocated to Fort Collins, Colorado, where he founded Front Range Brain and Spine Surgery in 1978. He devoted the majority of his practice to spine surgery (performing over 6,000 procedures during his career) and diseases of equestrians caused or aggravated by riding were Dr. Warson's field of expertise. In 1984, Dr. Warson established J & J Farms, where he bred, trained, exhibited, and sold multiple Grand National and World Champion Morgan horses. Today Dr. Warson is based in Fairfax, Virginia, where he is the Mid-Atlantic Medical Director for the Medeval Corporation and serves as Medical Director for Rider Health and Safety with the Western Dressage Association of America. He consults with the US Para-Equestrian Association, NCAA, and American Morgan Horse Association, and is a life-certified horse appraiser. Dr. Warson is a diplomate of the board of Neurological Surgery and a retired Fellow of the American College of Surgeons.

Ami Hendrickson is an author and screenwriter who specializes in teaching workshops on writing and communication skills. She lives in Coloma, Michigan.

Table of Contents

Preface xi

Part 1 Back Basics: Contributors and Causes of Pain 1

1 The "Normal" Back 3

The Problem with "Normal" 3

Getting to Know Your Spine 3

Vertebrae: The Building Blocks 3

The Spinal Regions 6

Understanding Discs 8

The Muscle Groups 8

Getting "Twitchy" 9

The Beginning of Balance 10

2 The Aching Back 13

Why Things Go Wrong 13

Common Congenital Conditions 14

Spondylolisthesis 14

Scoliosis 15

An Introduction to Spinal Problems 18

Trauma 18

Ruptured Discs 18

Arthritis 20

Spinal Stenosis 20

Infection 21

Meningitis 21

Neoplasms 22

Vascular Concerns 22

Posture 23

Pregnancy, Obesity, and Aging 28

Pregnancy 28

The Physics of a Pregnant Rider 28

Baby Backaches 30

Saddle Suggestions for Pregnant Riders 31

Obesity 32

On Aging and Aching 34

Deteriorating Discs 34

Old Bones 35

Old Muscles 36

Pain 37

Causes of Pain 37

Stages of Pain 38

Scarring 38

3 What Problems Do I Have? 41

Why Do I Hint, Where Do I Hurt, and Who Do I See About It? 41

The Examination 41

What to Expect from the Physical Exam 43

Other Diagnostic Tools 45

The Doctor's Point of View: From the Inside Out 48

Diagnosis 49

Assessing the Lower Back 49

Common Conditions of the Lumbar Region 50

Chronic Deconditioning 50

Muscle Strain 50

Disc Discomfort 51

Sciatica 53

Facet Joint Problems 54

Coccyx Pain 54

Evaluating the Upper Back and Neck 54

Common Conditions of the Upper Back 57

Muscle Pain 58

Disc Problems 58

Facet Joint issues 58

Cervical Spondylosis 59

Influenza and Other Ailments 59

4 The Human Back Joins with the Horse 61

The Science of Riding 61

Newton Revisited 61

The First Law: Inertia Happens (The Push-Button Pony Rule) 62

The Second Law: A Force to Be Reckoned With (The Taller The Horse, the Harder You Fall) 63

The Third Law: Resistance Is inevitable (The Mule Principle) 64

The Laws at Work 64

Tack Considerations 65

Saddle Fitting 65

The Saddle Pad Connection 72

The Science of Specific Riding Disciplines 73

Dressage and Reining 74

Hunters, Jumpers, and Eventers 75

Western Pleasure and Horsemanship 76

Cutting 76

Barrel Racing 77

Endurance and Competitive Trail Riding 78

Saddle Seat Pleasure and Equitation 78

Conformation and Compatibility (How the Horse's Body Can Affect Yours) 80

Horizontal Movers (Ground Coverers) 80

Vertical Movers (High Steppers) 81

Selecting the Best Horse for Your Back 82

Part 2 Back in the Saddle: Achieving, Improving, and Maintaining Back Health 85

5 Dr. Warson's Rx for Flexibility and Strength 87

Taking Steps toward Achieving Back Health 87

Factors of Flexibility 88

Stretching for Flexibility 90

Suggested Stretches for Flexibility 93

Back Stretches 93

Neck Stretches 98

Arm Stretches 100

Understanding Back Strength 102

Exercise Considerations 103

Isometric versus Isotonic Movements 103

Suggested Exercises for Back Health 106

Strengthening Exercises 107

Optional Exercises 114

Solving Common Setbacks when Beginning an Exercise Program 116

Commitment Issues 116

Overzealous Mistakes 117

6 Dr. Warson's Rx for Pain Management 119

Traditional Treatment for Pain Management 120

Applying Cold and Heat 120

Over-the-Counter Medication 122

Prescription Meds 122

Physical Therapy 123

Braces 124

Disc Injections 125

Vertebroplasty 125

Surgery 126

Discectomy 126

Fusion 127

Resuming Postoperative Activities 128

Myths of Traditional Pain Management 130

Alternative Treatments for Back Pain and Injury 131

Chiropractic Manipulation 131

Acupuncture and Acupressure 132

Massage 133

Magnetics 134

Yoga and T'ai Chi 135

Other Options (Pilates Method/Feldenkrais Method/Alexander Technique) 136

7 Dr. Warson's "Save Your Body" Prevention Plan 139

Preventing Injuries around the Barn 139

Saddling 140

Suggestions for Stress-Free Saddling 141

Proper Mounting and Dismounting 143

Mounting and Dismounting with Ease 145

Stirrup Placement 145

Barn Chores 146

Weekend Riders 146

Fear-Related Body Use 147

Changing for the Good of Your Back 148

Changing Sports or Riding Styles 148

Changing Horses 149

Rider Individuality 150

Back in the Saddle 154

Glossary of Terms 155

Acknowledgments 163

Index 164

Customer Reviews