May 3, 2016

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Back Pain in Police Officers

Gordon Graham
Category: Law Enforcement

Gordon Graham here with Today’s Tip from Lexipol. And today’s tip deals with a threat to our health and safety; back pain.

Your duty belt and their attachments can contribute to low back, hip and pelvis pain.

I’m sure we all hope to reach retirement age while we are still young enough, and healthy enough to enjoy it. But this job can certainly take its toll on our health and well-being especially our backs.

It’s no secret that the added weight and torque of our duty belts don’t do our backs any favors. Your duty belt and their attachments can contribute to low back, hip and pelvis painThis is the result of the weight carried, which can throw off a person’s center of gravity. There is pressure created from belts since they must be worn so tight. The objects attached to the belt create pressure points which contributes to the problem.

These pressures are compounded by endless hours of sitting in a patrol car and the moving and twisting associated with getting in and out of the vehicle. 

The reality is that the gear is necessary. However, being aware of the problem, we can take a few simple preventative measures. Get or stay in shape. Look into a different belt or, if your agency permits, suspenders or a vest carrier that allows you to mount some of your gear above your waist. Move items off of the lumbar portion of your belt and more toward the front. Lastly, don’t underestimate the effect that the added 25-30 pounds of equipment can have on our back and joints either; particularly over time. Don’t ignore back pain. Address it now so it doesn’t become a debilitating injury later. 

Iyou don’t take care of yourselves during your younger years, your retirement can mean endless trips to doctor appointments instead of spending time doing those things you’ve always dreamed of. 

And that is Today’s Tip from Lexipol. Gordon Graham signing off. 

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