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Triad
05-14-2011, 1:20 PM
I have some pretty consistent, and intermittent lower back pain. Do you guys use any sort of "girdle" to help brace the lower back?

Any recommendations?

Falconis
05-14-2011, 1:59 PM
If it gets bad enough call an attorney. If you're in Northern California send me a PM. I have a couple names I could give you.

If it gets to the point where your feet are constantly numb and tingly, really think about that attorney and going to see your personal designated physcian

TRICKSTER
05-14-2011, 4:13 PM
Rearrange your gun belt. Do not place anything (like cuff case) where it presses against you back when seated. Do not sit with anything in your sap pockets. Wearing all the gear we are required to carry is not natural and causes a variety of medical problems. If the problems continue, contact a good workers comp attorney that works with LEOs so you will be guaranteed proper treatment and compensation.

Spanky8601
05-14-2011, 4:29 PM
Rearrange your gun belt. Do not place anything (like cuff case) where it presses against you back when seated. Do not sit with anything in your sap pockets. Wearing all the gear we are required to carry is not natural and causes a variety of medical problems. If the problems continue, contact a good workers comp attorney that works with LEOs so you will be guaranteed proper treatment and compensation.

+1 on this. Also make sure your rear pockets are clear of anything. If you are getting in and out of the unit a lot, try to turn in the seat and put both feet on the ground, before exiting. Just FYI lower back injury after 5 years is presumed to be job caused.

Roddd
05-14-2011, 4:53 PM
Blackhawk offers a set of suspenders you wear under your shirt that supports your belt. It also works as a set of keepers. I know people that wear them and love it. I might invest in them soon

Falconis
05-14-2011, 6:57 PM
sorry to answer your original question ... no. if I did have to, probably not. don't want that harassment in the locker room :)

SVT-40
05-14-2011, 8:57 PM
Many things can add to back problems. Including overloading your duty belt. I suggest you remove anything beyond the minimum from your belt.

If you are overweight , well absolutely do what you have to to loose the extra weight. What you loose now will only help you for all your later years.

You should be doing core strengthening exercises which not only build your back, but help build your abs as well as adding flexibility. This takes some of the load off your back.

After 29 years I have a few bulged discs just due to the corrosive nature of everyday patrol work.

I fight it by maintaining a healthy weight and doing exercises which promote both flexibility as well as core muscle health.


It's a everyday routine.

If you are working patrol spend the time to every few hours get out of the car and flex your back muscles by resting your rear against a fender and flexing your self backwards while looking straight up. Hold position and repeat five or so times. also turn your trunk from side to side so you exercise your core muscles. This keeps your back muscles loose and helps to avoid muscle spasms.

Doing that routine helped me even though I had already sustained some disc damage.

9mmepiphany
05-14-2011, 10:48 PM
I've tried a lot of things over the years.

Don't do the back brace...girdle...it only weakens you back

What has worked for me is Tai Chi for flexibility and Kettle Bell for build the core

retired
05-14-2011, 10:54 PM
OP, take the advice that's been given and do whatever you can to reduce your chances of injury and especially surgery. If you do have surgery and are able to return to work, the chances of more surgeries are high because of the domino effect. That is what happened to me. And now, even tho I've been retired 8yrs., I just found out this week that C4 thru C7 are shot and I will be having an anterior/posterior 3 level fusion sometime before the summer is over. I am not looking forward to that and actually I'm scared as you know what to have it. I've been living with the pain since Jan. and don't want to for the rest of my life.

If your dept. permits a nylon Sam Brown, then buy one and wear it; it is a lot lighter than the leather one.

BTW, SVT-40, you forgot to mention to do that exercise out of view of the public eye as they might wonder what's wrong with you.:D

Jack L
05-15-2011, 7:03 AM
Insurance companies can be an issue.......so I paid out of pocket

As mentioned, lower back pain can be caused by many reasons. In my career it was cased by lifting hundreds of patients off the floor, ground, out of vehicles, wherever. The dead weight and odd positions kill your back. My back was toast after a few decades. I wanted to get an MRI of my lower back to see what was up and use it as a baseline for the future. I was not able to move some days. My insurance would not pay for an MRI and wanted me to instead do physical therapy. That is fine except that will not heal certain conditions and it will not let you 'see' what is going on inside. I was afraid I may even have a tumor or? I did not want more time to pass before I treated the condition.

Bottom line, I paid for an MRI myself. If you pay cash, it's a lot less expensive then what is charged an insurance company. I paid $500 out of pocket for one. And behold, my discs were protruding and pushing on nerve roots and some were ready to blow out which is really not good. I also found I had a congenital issue with my back that is not uncommon, but can be problemmatic. After finding all this out I stopped lifting anything over 20 - 30 pounds (my docs orders) and let the young employees do all the heavy lifting at scene. Lucky for me we usually had numerous agencies come on scene to help. I am very glad I spent the money before I damaged my back where it would have made life hell for the rest of what I have left. No money will take the place of a functional and pain free back. Now that I take extra care of my back I rarely experience pain.

yzernie
05-15-2011, 8:46 AM
Rearrange your gun belt. Do not place anything (like cuff case) where it presses against you back when seated.
This is good in theory but in reality it is not always an option. There is only so much room on a Sam Brown for all the crap we have to carry on it. Mine is so full of things of which the location on the belt is mandated by policy that I don't have an option of relocating them.

The biggest problems for me is the belt mounted Taser. One of our higher ups (now retired) disallowed us the option of wearing them in a drop down leg holster "because they looked to mean"...WTF?? Ever since then I have had to act like a contortionist just to get into and out of the unit. My back gets unbelievably sore and feels better on my days off but then sore again when I go back to work.

Triad
05-15-2011, 9:40 AM
I appreciate all the input guys. Some of the things you guys have suggested I am already doing such as keeping things off the small of my back and not having things in my back pocket.

I get severe pain in my back once or twice every few months, such as yesterday and today. I have learned to live with some degree of back pain, and have been on program to start loosing weight. I took yesterday off because I couldn't really effectively get in and out of my car.

Falconis
05-15-2011, 10:14 AM
you may have popped, bulging, or blown discs where the discs are increasing and decreasing in their bulge between your work shift and weekend.

I would hire that lawyer and go see the city physician and demand an MRI. Consistently getting major back pain once to twice a month is not normal.

Triad
05-15-2011, 11:28 AM
I know...your right.

Falconis
05-15-2011, 11:32 AM
BTW, hope you have more than 5 years in otherwise the injury will not be presumptive. You'll have to fight for it if you have less than 5 on.

EOD3
05-15-2011, 11:30 PM
It won't get better by itself. Chatting with a chiropractor or a physical therapist might give you some good exercise ideas.

If John Q catches you looking up, just tell them a UFO was reported doing vertical in a horizontal zone. :D

TRICKSTER
05-15-2011, 11:36 PM
This is good in theory but in reality it is not always an option. There is only so much room on a Sam Brown for all the crap we have to carry on it. Mine is so full of things of which the location on the belt is mandated by policy that I don't have an option of relocating them.

The biggest problems for me is the belt mounted Taser. One of our higher ups (now retired) disallowed us the option of wearing them in a drop down leg holster "because they looked to mean"...WTF?? Ever since then I have had to act like a contortionist just to get into and out of the unit. My back gets unbelievably sore and feels better on my days off but then sore again when I go back to work.

Make an injury report and get a doctors note stating that you need to relocate/adjust your equipment because of the injury. Your department is required by law to make reasonable accommodations.

Yodax109
05-15-2011, 11:40 PM
+1 for the moving things on around your belt. I have the double cuff case and it's been jacking my back! I'd also recommend lower back workouts, they help a lot!!!

SVT-40
05-15-2011, 11:44 PM
Back injuries are one of the presumptive injuries. Meaning it's presumed to be line of duty. The presumption even extends up to five years into your retirement, depending on your years of service.

Here is the text from the Labor Code:

Labor Code Section 3213.2, Presumption for Lower Back Impairment

In the case of a member of a police department of a city, county, or city and county, or a member of the sheriff's office of a county, or a peace officer employed by the Department of the California Highway Patrol, or a peace officer employed by the University of California, who has been employed for at least five years as a peace officer on a regular, full-time salary and has been required to wear a duty belt as a condition of employment, the term "injury," as used in this division, includes lower back impairments. The compensation that is awarded for lower back impairments shall include full hospital, surgical, medical treatment, disability indemnity, and death benefits as provided by the provisions of this division.

(b) The lower back impairment so developing or manifesting itself in the peace officer shall be presumed to arise out of and in the course of the employment. This presumption is disputable and may be controverted by other evidence, but unless so controverted, the appeals board is bound to find in accordance with it. This presumption shall be extended to a person following termination of service for a period of three calendar months for each full year of the requisite service, but not to exceed 60 months in any circumstance, commencing with the last date actually worked in the specified capacity.

(c) For purposes of this section, "duty belt" means a belt used for the purpose of holding a gun, handcuffs, baton, and other items related to law enforcement.

Read all the presumptions here. Good information which all LEO's should be familiar with.

http://www.porac.org/plaws.html

Falconis
05-16-2011, 12:39 AM
I was saying he has to have been on atleast 5 years.

foxracer151
05-16-2011, 3:30 PM
http://www.thevestman.com/products.html
check out this site it is something that may be good to look into

Triad
05-16-2011, 4:18 PM
http://www.thevestman.com/products.html
check out this site it is something that may be good to look into

This would be nice if I worked a Gang Unit, but for regular uniformed patrol I am SOL due to policy restrictions on "tactical" vests.

yzernie
05-17-2011, 7:14 AM
Make an injury report and get a doctors note stating that you need to relocate/adjust your equipment because of the injury. Your department is required by law to make reasonable accommodations.
That would be good but I don't have any room left on my belt to move things. Moving them will not solve the problem because if I move one thing then something else would take it's place. My belt is as minimized as I can get it and simply moving things isn't going to work for me. I'll have to deal with it for just 9 more months and then I'll never have to wear that stuff again. YES!!! :D

Joewy
05-17-2011, 7:27 AM
That would be good but I don't have any room left on my belt to move things. Moving them will not solve the problem because if I move one thing then something else would take it's place. My belt is as minimized as I can get it and simply moving things isn't going to work for me. I'll have to deal with it for just 9 more months and then I'll never have to wear that stuff again. YES!!! :D

Try exercising. Situps, squats and running. You dont have to do a lot and most people of european ancestory end up with back pain no mater what the job is.

You would be supprised how many people get back pain and bulging disks when they are about 35 or so. It also eventually goes away when you reach your 50's if you dont do any surgery and do exercise

Falconis
05-17-2011, 8:00 AM
It's MAY go away and that's if the disc isn't herniated or completely blown. He should probably go get checked out regardless

TurboChrisB
05-17-2011, 12:33 PM
Does it feel like a muscle? I had a lower back muscle spasm about 10 years ago that put me on the GROUND. Couldn't get up for 20 mins. Crazy. It took about a month to totally subside. Then I would occasionally.....have it be really "tender". Couple times a month. Well I was talking to a friend..and he suggested using this piece of exercise equipment. They have them in all the gyms as well. They are often called "Roman Chairs"
http://www.amazon.com/Powerline-PCH24X-Roman-Chair-Hyperextension/dp/accessories/B000RYQDRS

They sell for as little as like $75

Check out the pic.....but if you're an "ordinary" guy....you'd adjust the blocks for your ankles alllll the way down so your feet aren't off the ground. Then you bend over and relax....almost like trying to touch your feet......then swing your head back up. Basically a reverse sit up.

I scoffed when my friend told me to try it. I got on and did about 25 real quick.....thought "That was easy"....then he says DON'T do any more....just 25 every time I come in for a couple of weeks....

Well I'll tell you what.....the next morning THAT muscle....that area ... that gave me trouble? Was SORE. He was right.....I needed to strengthen THAT area muscularly in my lower back. I did it for a while and noticed a definite improvement.

Anyways....just more for you to think about.

rh3431
05-17-2011, 1:50 PM
I hop on an inversion table about once a week. That seems to help me. I go to a chiropractor once every 2-3 months. That seems to help too, but the pain is always there. Some days better, some days worse. And like the others said... reduce weight on your belt and exercise your core. I lost 25lbs and that helped A LOT!

yzernie
05-17-2011, 2:02 PM
Try exercising.
That would also be good to try but I already do that. After 33+ total as a reserve and a regular wearing this crap I think I'm just worn out. Out of all my time on the dept I have only spent a little above 4 years not wearing the weight belt. Worn out comes to mind before anything else. lol

EOD3
05-18-2011, 5:11 PM
That would also be good to try but I already do that. After 33+ total as a reserve and a regular wearing this crap I think I'm just worn out. Out of all my time on the dept I have only spent a little above 4 years not wearing the weight belt. Worn out comes to mind before anything else. lol


You're nine months and a day from cold beer and hot showers? :cool:

If I was in your position, I'd be visiting with a "spinal surgeon" specializing in sports medicine every couple of weeks. He may be able to help you but even if he can't, you'll be building a "paper-trail" that might be worth it's weight in gold. If you document any incidents that exacerbate the problem, that couldn't hurt either. (No pun intended) :grilling:

SGGear
05-18-2011, 5:55 PM
Do not go to a chiropractor. I went to a chiropractor for three years and they only relieve the pain temporarily. With steady visit to the chiropractor, it made my back worse. It first started as a numb and tingling feeling throughout my leg. Then I could'nt balance on one foot. It progressed to a point where I couldnt walk anymore and even lying on the bed was painful. I couldnt take it anymore and I finally decided to have surgery on my back. Its been six years and with steady excercise and stretching, the problem went away.

My best advise is to seek a good physical therapist and follow their program. If your out carrying lot of gear on your belt, you probably do not want to over work your back even more by lifting heavy weights or running. Yes, believe it or not, the doctor said the last thing you want to do with back problem is go running. When you run, you are putting alot of pressure on your back every step you take. Best excercise for someone with back problem is to swim or walk/jog in a swimming pool. Avoid any excercise that requires you to twist or bend your upper body.

Theres also lot of simple changes that can be made to help you with your back problems. Avoid any activities that may make you twist your lower back or torso. Make a habbit of moving your shoulders along with your torso when you exit/enter cars, get out of bed (roll out), sitting and getting out of chairs, etc.. Do not put anything in your back pocket like a wallet. Sit flat. Do not slouch or lean sideways. Change your posture. Also, after I had the surgery, the doctor recommended me to always sleep side ways with a thick pillow between my legs. If you sleep on your back, place a pillow under your feet. It helps to keep your spine in place.

Also, Its also important to stretch your back in the morning and before you sleep. Do NOT over stretch your back. Look into light yoga excercises that will help stretch the back. The physical therapist can recommend light stretches for you. They may seem pointless, but trust me they help alot. Click on the link for examples of stretching that will help your back.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=06WYKCfdAn4

Once you have back pains, they will come back if you dont take care of it. Always eat healthy, exercise, and stretch and you ll be free of back pains. Take care.

Funtimes
05-18-2011, 9:07 PM
BTW, hope you have more than 5 years in otherwise the injury will not be presumptive. You'll have to fight for it if you have less than 5 on.

I've been military for 8 years and have some significant lingering pain in the very last area of my back; I wonder if the same kind of rules apply to other jobs?

Anything you guys know of I could look at for this "5 year" thing?

c3 rolling
05-22-2011, 12:44 PM
I ice my back after work and stretch/heat it every morning. Lighter gear helped but did not solve the pain for me .

Falconis
05-22-2011, 1:59 PM
Ohh FWIW, the 5 year thing is for cops and firefighters. It's a labor code issue I think. Stems from cops and firefighters having to constantly and needlessly fighting these cases with their insurance carriers despite doctors and other professionals saying most lower back problems stem from the day to day abuse.

Any other professions will probably have to hire a workers comp lawyer like most of us cops and firefighters do anyways.

mwunsch
05-22-2011, 2:23 PM
Try exercising. Situps, squats and running. You dont have to do a lot and most people of european ancestory end up with back pain no mater what the job is.

You would be supprised how many people get back pain and bulging disks when they are about 35 or so. It also eventually goes away when you reach your 50's if you dont do any surgery and do exercise

I have to chime in here...

I am a professional personal trainer and my wife is a physical therapist...we do this for a living. cops, firemen, army etc...

do NOT do any sort of situp and keep your running to a minimum (the base level to qualify for your particular department). I am training a LA sherrif for a PT pullup test and the dude has reconstrructed shoudlers...also training people for the academy and PT tests for places such a LA sherrif, West point , ATF, CHP, blah blah blah...

if you are interested pM me and I can help with this type of thing. I am a avid hunter and actually had a webiste called hunterstrength.com, although, my other side of training got me too bust to keep up the site.

not trying to make money, just help a fellow hunter...

or this may be a thread!?

1911su16b870
05-22-2011, 4:03 PM
I have a great chiropractor and after being a competitive swimmer for over the past 20 years, I find swimming is a great way to keep the spine in alignment and back pain away.

I do not go to the chiropractor unless there is back pain...and then only for for the back to re-align and then I am GTG.

Also make sure your Sam Brown is not too tight!

retired
05-24-2011, 10:46 PM
Here is a little something to add about back pain from my first post. I've been away from this site since Tues. due to severe back pain. I went to my spine surgeon to discuss my upcoming cervical surgery (C4-C7) and then my pain management doc next door.

4 1/2 hours of sitting at their offices and a 45 minute drive home was sufficient to do me in. When I awakened Wed. morning, I was in agony. Over the last week, even with the medication I take, it has been a 8-9 on that scale that we all know about.

For those of you who are not suffering from back pain, please do what it takes with your equipment and your physical training to ensure that you limit your chances to ever suffer from it. Genetics did have a part in my situation, but the gun belt, the 15 years in patrol and the fights in the jail certainly didn't help.

I'm 61 and I've lived with back pain for over half of my life and I'm here to tell you it's not fun.:( Please take care of yourselves.

fmxmyway
05-24-2011, 10:55 PM
I have some pretty consistent, and intermittent lower back pain. Do you guys use any sort of "girdle" to help brace the lower back?

Any recommendations?

Depending on your precise condition, recommendations will vary widely but I would like to add that I had Sciatica which caused me severe pain. I ended up getting a microdiscetomy. If your conditions are mild I would recommend core exercises. If they are severe like mine I would recommend seeing a neurosurgeon. When it comes to back surgery everyone has a real negative feedback on it but it was totally worth it for me and I feel almost a 100% again.

Doheny
05-27-2011, 3:05 PM
If it gets bad enough call an attorney.

Call an attorney regardless; he can give you some options. My wife just won a settlement and lifetime medical for the same issue.

veeklog
05-28-2011, 7:28 AM
Eleven year ago I tore up my ACL because I was working midnights and out of shape. One ACL surgery and five months later I was able to return to regular patrol work. I vowed that I would not be out of shape again and would exercise as much as I could. Since then I have kept that promise to myself to include intense cardio but core and back exercises as well.

But having back problems is one of those things that even LEO's in shape get. We wear a ton of crap on our hips that and that puts a lot of stress on the lower body. I remember when I was in uniform my hip used to bleed because of all the equipment that I was wearing. Ten years later I see friends that are wearing more equipment on their Sam Browne/River Belts than I ever wore. I am sometimes in awe because there isn't any room on their belts anymore.

Right before I left uniformed work, I wanted to see how heavy I was wearing all of my duty equipment; I was in good shape by then, and lost a lot of weight that helped me get hurt in the first place. So, with uniform, vest, duty boots (Danner Acadias), river belt with all my equipment, I weighed an extra 30 pounds more than my normal weight without my equipment. Just think about it: with all of our equipment that we have one, we get in and out of patrol cars, contort our back so we can sit comfortably in a marked vehicle with cage (not too much room in there), do foot pursuits while wearing our equipment, and sometimes have to get into altercations while wearing our equipment.

Sometimes I feel lucky because I only wear tactical gear and tactical vest only for raids (and I am currently not even doing THAT for the next few years!) so I saved a little time/stress on my back. But I sometimes still feel pain in my lower back, and wonder if I will have back problems as I approach my last 30's. For all the guys that still in uniform and lugging around your Sam Browne/River Belts on a daily basis, I tip my hat to you because you are true warriers in every sense.

bshnt2015
05-28-2011, 7:34 AM
Clarify if you can, was this documented at work? Are you being treated by your personal doctor or city doctor? My co-worker went through the same issues and he was given clearance by his personal doctor to use ballistic nylon gear with a backsaver pad on his duty belt. Did you get an attorney yet? Does your association know?

daveinwoodland
05-28-2011, 7:43 AM
The best thing you could possibly do is acupuncture. I've tried it after recommendations for other ailments and so far it's been 85% effective.

Brother was in a tremendous car crash on the Bay Bridge he was stopped, lady not paying attention rear ended him at 55mph. Was told he would be permanently disabled from back and shoulder injuries.

Acupuncture then sports medicine exercise later he has no indication he was ever injured. Of course his regular Western medicine doctors think it's a miracle and won't admit it was the acupuncture.

Jack L
05-28-2011, 8:04 AM
The best thing you could possibly do is acupuncture. I've tried it after recommendations for other ailments and so far it's been 85% effective.

Brother was in a tremendous car crash on the Bay Bridge he was stopped, lady not paying attention rear ended him at 55mph. Was told he would be permanently disabled from back and shoulder injuries.

Acupuncture then sports medicine exercise later he has no indication he was ever injured. Of course his regular Western medicine doctors think it's a miracle and won't admit it was the acupuncture.

It works for many people. Try everything you can before you decide on surgery.

razr
05-28-2011, 8:51 AM
Reduce your weight by 25 lbs, its tough but can be done.

spr03
05-29-2011, 9:48 PM
Look up a book called 7 Steps to a Pain Free Life by Robin McKenzie. Also, look up the McKenzie Method and press ups. Recovery and mobility are crucial to your longevity.

Exercise is important, but if you don't improve your hip mobility and improve your ability to brace your midsection under load, you'll just speed up your injury.