Endurance Riding

May 04 2011

Ice, Immobilize, Ibuprofen: Doctor’s Orders

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You heard me right. Doctor’s orders. Yup, I’ve suffered yet another (very silly, very stupid) injury. I promise you I am not normally this accident prone!

After our ACTHA CTC on Saturday, I was grazing Asali in the field when she spooked from the wind (she is not normally a spooky horse, but it was unusually windy on Saturday). She reared up and tried to bolt, yanking my arm that was holding the lead rope. I didn’t notice any pain at first, but on Sunday my left arm, shoulder, and neck were sore – nothing too painful, just a dull aching, which I would have easily ignored. On Sunday night, however, the shooting pains started, which made it difficult to sleep.

On Monday, I had an appointment with my chiropractor, Dr. Steve Seegrist, in Chico. I decided to ask him what he thought about those shooting pains I had experienced during the night. He did an assessment and determined that I probably had a Grade 1 Acromioclavicular (AC) Joint Separation, which is a sprain of the ligaments around the joint. Luckily, the treatment is easy – use of a sling, reduction of inflammation, and pain medication, if needed, until the sprain heals, which can take anywhere from a few days to a couple weeks.

No problem. Except, I have another endurance ride this Saturday. When I told Dr. Steve this, he just shook his head and laughed. He knew he wasn’t going to convince me to cancel my ride. So, he told me to be aggressive about icing my shoulder to reduce joint inflammation. He said to also be religious about resting my shoulder over the next 72 hours. Then he sent me over to the Student Health Center at Chico State to get further treatment.

At Chico State, I was given a sling and told to wear it until I could be re-checked in a week (the sling is coming off on Friday though, since Asali and I will be traveling down to Cache Creek). Then I was prescribed 800 mg ibuprofen tablets which, along with ice therapy, will help relieve inflammation.

Ice, Immobilize, Ibuprofen. Doctor’s Orders.

I’m just hoping I live through this weekend… they say things come in threes, so I’m just waiting for what’s next…

My psychiatric clinical instructor offered me a straight jacket to keep me safe… but I’ve declined.

3 responses so far

3 Responses to “Ice, Immobilize, Ibuprofen: Doctor’s Orders”

  1. Donnaon 05 May 2011 at 4:31 pm

    Sounds so painful, JayaMae! Hoping you will take good care of yourself.

    I think we all go through a similar injury at least once in our career with horses. It teaches us to be *very* careful when handling lead ropes. We learn not to wrap them around our hands and to put them in the hand away from the horse so that the arm holding the rope passes across our body. That way the arm is less likely to be yanked straight upward in the event that the horse rears up or bolts. This can lessen possibility of a severe injury to arm and shoulder. As you are certainly aware, practicing daily for self-protection will pay dividends downstream in terms of fewer injuries and more days spent in the saddle.

    Hope your recovery is brisk and complete!

  2. JayaMaeon 11 May 2011 at 4:00 am


    I got lucky with this injury. By Thursday, I was completely pain free and had full range of motion and strength back. The fact that I was religious about resting my shoulder and icing it for the first 72 hours paid off!

    This is the second lead rope injury I’ve incurred… a couple years ago, when I was in New England when my mom started her walk across America with Winnie, I was holding Winnie’s lead rope when she spooked. Stupidly, I had the lead rope tucked into my elbow joint because I wanted my hand free to eat a sandwich. I ended up with a nasty rope burn. 🙁

  3. Ann Byrnson 14 May 2011 at 3:45 pm

    Hope you are all better now, kiddo!

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