• Summer Nicole Terry

Let's Talk... Using Injections to Break the Cycle of Pain

💁 Let's Talk... Using Injections to Break The Cycle of Pain

We run into a lot of people that are totally against injecting horses. I think most times it's miseducation or they think it's a cruel practice. I'm here to tell you that without injections, I would have ZERO quality of life myself... I see the benefits on me, so I know my horses feel better afterwards. This is a pic of my live x-ray from getting my second epidural in my back today. You can see proper placement of the needle, and the chart to the right helps determine where nerve pain and muscle weakness is coming from.

Now here's where my opinion is going to differ from some other people. I believe injections are a TOOL not a FIX... Why do I need epidurals in my back?? Because I spent 5 years limping with a hip that needed replaced 3 years before it happened, so my muscles and spine shifted to compensate for me being unbalanced. Will injections fix that?? NO. What they do is get rid of the inflammation and break the cycle of pain so that I feel like exercising and retraining my muscles to be balanced. I hate when doctors say .... "Oh, just go to PT and you'll get better." When you hurt so bad you struggle through your daily activities, do you really think you feel like going to PT or the gym? Heck No... So that person ends up doing less and less and losing more range of motion... Which makes it harder to make a full comeback.

So I recommend using injections to break the pain cycle, then using therapy, exercise, PEMF, ect. to actually correct the weak areas of the body. A strong body will need injected a lot less often that a weak body pretending to be a strong body. Is your horse constantly back sore and needing it injected? You might evaluate core strength and see how much that plays a part of why your horse stays sore. Constantly injecting coffin joints? Better check shoe balance and then make a plan to strengthen the lower leg muscles. These are just a few examples of things we see daily in our barn.

So, that being said... I feel like injections are a great alternative to pain pills, running a hurting horse, or trying to hit the gym if you're in pain... But if you think they are some magical cure, that's not correct. They are a tool or a quick fix, but at some point you gotta actually do some work on the root cause of the problem. So many want that instant gratification without putting in the long hours of work. After 14 years in the medical field, I can't tell you MOST ATHLETES DEAL WITH SOME DEGREE OF PAIN ON A REGULAR BASIS... It's how hard you want to work on correcting the root cause that determines the quality and length of that competitive career.... That's why there's very few that are in the elite category... Winning takes a lot of sacrifice and hard work outside of just taking your horse to the vet or yourself to the doctor.

What are you willing to sacrifice to reach your goals?? #dowork

*****Edited to add***** Also to answer several questions on epidurals from my messages.... Usually joint, muscle, trigger point injections are a one and done thing, where most epidurals are done in a series of 3 to reach maximum results.

It was explained to me years ago that the reason for this is because they use smaller doses going into the spine so each dose breaks down more inflammation. I have a lot of customers (including myself) that don't see great results with the first shot, but better results with the second epidural, and usually the best and longest lasting results with the final shot. So I always advise everyone to complete the series before making a decision on if it worked or not.

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