Karl Shewmake

It’s Tough to Do, but Think of Back Pain as Your Friend

It protects you, alerts you to the danger of further injury and makes you move, think and behave differently in your hoof-care work

Karl Shewmake says a good way to warm up prior to trimming and shoeing is by doing walking lunges. These can be done while bringing the horse out of a stall for work.

Being fearful of back pain is fine since your farrier business depends on getting under horses each day. While back pain is significant, it is often not due to the fact that you did something wrong, lifted wrong, lifted too much weight or had a bad stance.

While each of these factors are important, you can probably think of many times when you did all the wrongs things while working around a horse and had no back pain. Since this happens quite often, it means other factors are involved.

Before we get to the other factors, let’s review some of the history involved with back pain.

The Past... Rest And Avoidance

The tissue response approach and fear-based model are still practiced in dealing with back pain and other injuries. This “if it hurts, rest and don’t use it” attitude totally ignores the importance of the brain component. While this approach works well for a swollen ankle sprain, it doesn’t work with most other types of pain. In fact, the fear of pain and re-injuring tissues are extremely powerful forces behind the development and maintenance of chronic pain. Besides avoiding physical activity, these strategies are based on waiting for something painful to happen and someone else having the necessary solution.

The Present... Exercise And Therapy

While many doctors…

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