Wiltshire Publications

No more horsing around, let’s get down to business … Dressage rider maintains posture with chiropractic treatment

Leading Westbury Chiropractor Kay Pearce, has joined forces with local International Grand Prix Dressage Rider Lucy Straker, to assist this talented and dedicated athlete achieve her dreams.

Kay has been treating Lucy for several years as a patient, sometimes after, but mostly before events, helping her to be ready for big competitions.

Kay, clinic director at   Maristow Chiropractic Clinic and a Fellow of the Royal College of Chiropractors, said, “Many patients know that we can get you functioning again as soon as possible after an accident or injury, but what is less recognised is that we can also make improvement, without injury, that can transform your sporting performance!

“A lot of what we see in clinic is conditions that have built up over a long period of time. Often injuries that seem to come on very suddenly have underlying factors that have been building up over time and these can be due to faulty movement patterns, where a muscle may have been compensating for a weakness elsewhere.”

The role of a chiropractor is to use manual techniques, known as adjustments, to relieve pain and to re-program movement patterns to prevent re-injury. This process can also be applied to athletes. When an athlete is ‘running’ at optimal functionality their injury risk decreases and their performance enhanced.

Wiltshire based Lucy Straker, runs a livery and training yard as well as performing in dressage competitions across Europe. She has been visiting Kay for around three years, following a personal recommendation from a friend; previously she had visited an osteopath, but didn’t feel it was working in the way she had hoped.

Lucy added, “Kay was recommended to me, and is excellent in routing out weak points and putting them right with gentle adjustments after a deep tissue massage which really helps relax my muscles. For me it is all about posture and muscle tightness, I have a horse chiropractor visit the yard to attend to the horses before an event so they are in peak condition and I need to be too.

“Unfortunately earlier this year I had an accident loading a horse into a box, I stumbled off the ramp, and as I had the reins, the horse came with me and I was trampled beneath it’s hooves. I was rushed to RUH then transferred to Bristol Royal Infirmary with six broken ribs embedded into my lung and my scapula broken in three places.

“After an operation, which saw me fitted with titanium ribs worth £25,000, and 10 days in hospital, I made it home. A week or so later I was ready to return to Kay, I hobbled in but walked out. She is amazing.”

Lucy continued to go to Kay every week for six weeks to gradually release the tense muscles which where going into spasm.

Lucy has now learnt to recognise small signs of imbalance or weakness and Kay can correct these before they lead to more significant injuries. Many recreational horse riders describe a sensation of not being straight or level in the saddle for example and this is one of the clues Kay listens out for to assess that the pelvis is level. This is especially important for dressage riders.

Kay has worked at The Olympics and other international sporting events in the past and is very much aware of how much support and funding athletes can achieve once they are a success. She says of sponsoring Lucy, “I understand how difficult it is to achieve this success and how many sacrifices are made along the way, so am happy to help Lucy reach her goal to be a top level equestrian and dressage rider when she returns to competing in December.

“I feel if I can help in any way to assist a talented and dedicated athlete achieve her dreams then I know I have supported our local area’s sporting stars of the future.”