A preliminary study to investigate the prevalence of pain in international event riders during competition, in the United Kingdom

Victoria Lewis, Katie Baldwin

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Article

    1 Citation (Scopus)
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    The aim of the study was to investigate the prevalence of riders at the international levels in eventing, competing with pain, the location of their pain, factors affecting their pain and whether they perceived this pain to have an effect on their performance. Thirty-one questionnaires were completed by international event riders (FEI CCI *, CCI **, CIC ***) at the Hartpury International Horse Trials, UK, to establish the prevalence of riders competing with pain.
    Ninety-six percent of international event riders competed while experiencing pain, 76% of riders stated that this pain was in the neck, upper back or shoulders. All female riders reported pain, giving a significant correlation between gender and pain (X= -0.479, P=0.006).
    Fifty-five percent of riders felt their pain affected their riding performance, giving an odds ratio of 1.14, compared to those riders who felt their pain did not effect their performance. Pain was perceived to influence performance by affecting fatigue, their concentration, and anxiety levels. Ninety-six percent of riders reporting pain used medication to alleviate their symptoms.
    This high incidence of international event riders who compete with pain, particularly back pain, could be problematic given the longevity of a rider’s career, which can span over four decades and could potentially increase the risk of a serious or fatal fall in the cross-country phase. This research reports rider’s perceptions and self-reported pain and management options, which may affect the data. Further research is needed to establish the causes of back pain and appropriate management strategies.

    Original languageEnglish
    Number of pages10
    JournalComparative Exercise Physiology
    Issue number3
    Early online date13 Aug 2018
    Publication statusPublished - Aug 2018


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