Mind the Body

A Question & Answer Blog with Dr. Jim Warson
About Dr. Warson

Dr. Jim Warson, Equestrian Medicine Specialist and author of The Rider’s Pain Free Back, answers questions from riders about how they can both solve the aches and pains of riding, plus prevent them.

Dr. Warson spent his childhood summers on the family ranch in Texas, began a neurosurgery practice in 1974 and in 1978 founded Front Range Brain and Spine Surgery in Ft. Collins, CO. He has personally experienced three spinal surgeries and has performed over 5000 procedures during his career.

Dr. Warson has bred and shown Championship Morgan horses, including JMF Wild Card, ESP Brass Commando, Intrepid My Fair Lady, and FPM Stage Fright. He regularly speaks on maintaining rider health, plus instructs riders in exercises which greatly benefit both their riding and general overall health.

The purpose of this blog will be to answer riders’ questions about keeping their bodies in shape for many years to come.

If you have a question for Dr. Warson, please send us an email at info@wdaco.org.

Question: I don’t normally have back pain, but after trotting for long periods of time at my trainer’s facility, both posting and seated, I later experience low back pain. This does not occur when riding at home.

Answer: This happens when riders don’t stretch AFTER the ride. Next time try that and see if there’s a difference. When you stretch your muscle, you are essentially lengthening it. As you do that – up to a point – you reduce the resistance to blood flow in the muscle. In other words, stretching allows […] Read more »

Question: After riding my hands ache terribly. This is worse on long rides and if the weather is cold. Can anything be done? Gloves don’t seem to help much.

Answer: Equestrian hand problems are some of the most fascinating that I encounter in Equestrian Medicine. Osteoarthritis (wear and tear arthritis) is the most common, followed by carpal tunnel syndrome. Rheumatoid arthritis and carpal-metacarpal arthritis bring up the rear about equally. All of these have a loss of hand, and particularly finger, flexibility. If you […] Read more »