Italian Grand Prix dressage rider Silvia Rizzo is thrilled to be competing on the level again after years of being unbalanced.
Rizzo, who is in Florida for the Adequan Global Dressage Festival, had to seek chiropractic help after years of back pain which was topped off by the 18-hour journey to Florida from her farm in Germany.
“The day after I arrived in Wellington, I looked for someone really professional to take care of my problem,” she said. “So my first idea was just having a massage with the hope that the pain could go away on its own.”
She went to Family Chiropractor in Wellington for a massage, and was referred to Dr Anais Maristany, who took x-rays.
Maristany learned that there was a reason for the pain Rizzo had suffered from for 15 years: her hips were unbalanced.
“I must admit that for the last 15 years, I rode with different levels of stirrups,” the rider said. “It started while I was an eventer but it became worse when I changed to dressage. The stirrup for my right leg was two holes longer than the one for the left leg!”
Three times a week she visited Maristany for adjustments to put her body back in balance. The doctor also gave her a selection of daily exercises to complete while explaining how they worked to help her.
“Silvia’s issues were several subluxations in her low back and neck and her posture was off, so when she rode her entire body was compensating for the misalignments,” Maristany said. “Locating and removing the subluxations allowed her body to heal itself and gave her the opportunity to function at 100 percent.”
The chiropractor said that riders and non-riders have the same issues with misalignment and postural abnormalities, but riders tend to feel the effects sooner. Maristany added that her Wellington practice has given her the opportunity to work with many equestrians.
“They perform significantly better and, in the long run, have a better quality of life when they are proactive about their health instead of waiting until they have pain to address the root cause of the issue,” she said. “The most common symptom is low back pain which is the body’s way of letting them know there is something bigger going on.”
Rizzo is pleased with the results Maristany has achieved.
“I am very grateful to Dr Maristany not only because I don’t have back pain anymore but also because she was able to change my posture,” she said. “In this way, I am more straight while I walk and, surprise, for the first time in 15 years, I am riding with the stirrups at the same level!”
“In addition to this, she made me understand how important specific and constant training of my body is to keep my back in shape,” Rizzo added. “I couldn’t do it without her!”