Sports specific rehabilitation
For any sports specific rehabilitation, it is important that your physiotherapist has an in depth understanding of the unique demands placed upon your body by different sports - regardless of what level you are participating at. This applies to running, swimming, cycling, tennis and various team sports. It is important to work with a physiotherapist who understands your chosen sport. For riders, it is essential that your chosen physiotherapist understands the equestrian world and appreciates the different nuances and requirements of each equestrian discipline.
How can Physiotherapy help you?
Eilís has over a decade of experience working in a variety of human physiotherapy settings including emergency department, acute hospital, sub-acute rehabilitation, community rehabilitation center as well as in the private practice setting. With a wealth of experience in managing a broad range of conditions affecting both owners and riders, Eilís can guide rehabilitation following:
- Orthopaedic surgery
- Musculoskeletal injury
- Sporting injuries
- Posture retraining
- Neurological conditions
- Cardiorespiratory conditions
- Pre and post- natal musculoskeletal dysfunction
- Falls and balance issues
- Vestibular dysfunction
- De-condioning and falls in the older person
- Persistent or chronic pain
Working with horses: physically demanding!
Unlike other sports, the rider has unique physical demands placed upon their body on a daily basis. Before considering mounting their horse, many riders have already mucked out stables, changed heavy rugs, filled and carried heavy buckets, moved bales of hay and heavy bags of feed as well as having swept the yard.
We are all acutely aware of how a fall can affect us physically, but how many riders consider the consequences of the heavy, often one-sided workload that comes with caring for our horses? Regular chores such as carrying saddles, rugs and buckets as well as sweeping, cause us to become one-sided or adopt poor postures on a regular basis. This can lead to asymmetries within our bodies, resulting in muscle imbalances and increasing the risk of musculoskeletal injury.
Riders are not immune to cumulative or repetitive strain injuries when dealing with horses on a daily basis.
Remember that if your own posture is less than ideal, then your horses performance will also be less than ideal!
What does rider physiotherapy involve?
Subjective assessment- exploring the history and nature of your injury, previous health issues and how your injury affects your daily routine (including work and social life)
Objective assessment - on ground (or plinth) evaluation of your range of movement (flexibility), muscle strength and neuromuscular control, balance, coordination and proprioception. Depending on the nature of your injury, assessment may include additional orthopaedic or neurological tests.
Sports specific evaluation - on horse assessment. Please refer here for more information about the horse and rider assessment.
Physiotherapy treatment - choice of treatment modality will be made in joint consultation with you. Your physiotherapist has a 'toolbox' containing a wide variety of treatment modalities to choose from, choice of which will be based on evidence based practice and may include the following:
- Education - ensuring you understand your body, physiotherapy assessment findings and how recent research findings and current clinical guidelines might apply to your situation
- Advice on self-management strategies
- Individualized exercise based therapy program derived from disciplines such as Pilates, Yoga, traditional strength training, balance / coordination / proprioception re-training, posture re-training, Feldenkrais and more...
- Manual therapy
- Massage therapy
- Electrotherapy including TENS, neuromuscular electrical stimulation
- Dry needling
- Taping - rigid tape and kinesiotape
- Advice on available supportive equipment e.g. orthotics, braces, gait aids
- Advice on available exercise equipment e.g. theraband, balance equipment, stability balls, weights
With your consent, your physiotherapist may liaise with other medical or allied health professionals involved in your care e.g. your surgeon, medical specialist, G.P., psychologist, podiatrist etc
If you have a coach, your physiotherapist can work collaboratively with them to incorporate your physiotherapy goals into your coaching sessions.
Your physiotherapist may also seek to work collaboratively with your horses health care team - your veterinarian, farrier, saddler, nutritionist, etc
Analysis and clinical reasoning - your physiotherapist will formulate a diagnosis (note - diagnosis for humans only!) and strive to identify the root cause of a problem rather than simply treating the signs and symptoms of an injury or poor performance. Use of outcome measures will allow your physiotherapist to evaluate if your treatment plan is working. If yes - brilliant, hopefully you won't need your physiotherapist for much longer! If not, then we need to adapt our management plan accordingly. JHH physio pride ourselves on honesty and reliability - if we believe that we are not the right health professional for you, we will inform you and guide you towards the right health professional ASAP.
Goal setting: establishing SMART goals with you to get you back on track and back to the life you enjoy.