The Horse as Healer: Study Shows Riding Reduces Back Pain

Here’s an interesting study that gives you another reason to ride (just in case you need another way to justify it). Riding helps reduce back pain.

A total of 24 patients, considerably disabled in daily activities by back pain, participated in an Equine Assisted Therapy (EAT) programme. The patients also had several health problems in addition to their current pain. The programme emphasised the principles of body awareness. The study is aimed at investigating not only whether symptom reduction would be achieved, but also at identifying qualities of EAT that were particularly beneficial for the patients’ well being. The study was performed according to action research principles. The treatment reduced the pain and lessened other symptoms. The EAT also had an influence on the patients’ self-image and a positive chain of effects was observed. The consequences were described according to four dimensions; the dimension of body awareness, competence, emotion and environment. The dimensions were interrelated having the simultaneous influence of a transition process and symptom reduction towards health.

Department of Public Health and Community Medicine/Primary Health Care, The Sahlgrenska Academy, Göteborg University, PB 454, SE-405 30 Göteborg, Sweden.

3 thoughts on “The Horse as Healer: Study Shows Riding Reduces Back Pain

  1. I never really had chronic back pain, but from the time I was about 19 until I started riding at around 33, my back would go out about every 8-9 months. Since I’ve been riding, about 6 years, the only time it’s gone out is when I didn’t ride for a few months, for one reason or another.

    Now, whether riding directly affected my back, or whether riding affected my core muscles which helped my back I do not know, but either way, I’m very happy about the whole thing.

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