¿Are you a professional hoof trimmer or farrier? ¿Are you experiencing some degree of lumbar pain? ¿Are you doing nothing and throwing the ball forward?
If the answer to all this questions is «YES», then you’re in the right place. Keep on reading and you’ll realize why…
As you might know, I have been trimming horses professionally since 2008. As you might imagine, I also do other jobs… so since 3 years now, I only work as a trimmer 3 consecutive days a week, which is great! but means that I have to do in 3 days what I used to do in 5… This means 80 horses in 3 days so… 25 horses per day. Sounds a lot isn’t it? Let me tell you my secret to cope with that without having back pain.
The trimming plus the driving posture that we do allday along is not the best thing that we can offer to our backs. Isn’t is? An everything also gets worst during summer! when horses gets irritated by bitting flies and you become their sparring.
This situations generates a lot of tension in your back muscles, but also the curved posture of trimming and driving around to meet the clients makes the lumbar vertebra to come closer and some irritative processes may begin. This can easily end up with arthrosis or bulging/ruptured disks in a long term. And if this happens then you’re done. Chances are that you’ll have to change your job and begin again creating another career with all the effort that this involves. Do you know of any folk that is in this situation after years of hard work? I’m sure that yes… you know somebody that’s going through all this hell… So! If you want to avoid that, you better begin to do something now! You’re already late!… But what?
I recommend you to do a hollistic approach to the situation and work in the next 5 aspects of your life:
1.- Diminish your stress.
As I told you before, back pain is related with muscle tension and this can have a direct relation with your mental state. If you’re stressed all the time your muscles will tight up and the pain will say hello to you. So find some time daily to relax, enjoy life, smile and laught. Everyone is different so you should find what wotks best for you.
2.- Change your diet.
Your body needs to repair and the blocks that it uses to do so comes directly from what you eat. You have chosen a profession that is very hard for your body so you should better take care of it if you want to have a long ride!
Avoid sugar, alcohol, any kind of processed food the 99% of the time and give you 1 meal per week to enjoy eating those crap that are so delicious and that we all love to eat. It’s important that you keep this «crap meal» always in the same time of the week. So… decide when are you gona fit it and leave it there… For me it’s sunday lunch. Which is the best time for you?
I have told you what to avoid, so let me tell you what to focus on… 60-70% of vegetables, 20-30% of eggs, meat, fish & shell fish, 8% of fruit and 2 % of nuts. and if you accept another advice… eat them as raw as possible to make sure that vitamins and minerals are not affected by heat and that your body is getting them all ;D.
3.- Maintain your body fat in check.
If you have a big belly, then you’re overtensing the back muscles and making their work even harder. So listen to me on this and maintain your fattening level low.
4.- Exercice regularly.
The reason why you should exercice is to build up strength in your whole body so your back muscles have some collective aid when doing it’s job.
There’re some exercices that you can or should do daily like 20 or 30 minutes of walking. Walk help you to relax your mind but also stretches and relaxes the back muscles while burns a little bit of energy and builds up some leg and gluteus muscles.
Besides this I recommend you to do strength work once a week in a gym with the help of some machines and a trainer. It can take as less as 30 minutes of your time per week and the results are simply awesome. My back feels totally grateful since I began to do strength exercices a while ago!
Learn some stretches for your back, abdominals & hamstrings muscles. They will help you to release muscle tension, reduce pain and skip future injuries. I have a set of 3 that I keep on doing them twice during my 3 hard working days.
For this section I also save 30 minutes twice a week to do some yoga with relaxing music so I can work in my stress and in my body in one go!
As you can see I only spend 2 hours in my whole week working on my body and my mind and the results are astonishing. The rest is simple, take care of your diet.
Give it a try and let me know! Leave your experience in the comments box.