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  • Duty Suspenders

    I have only been a police officer for a year and I have had lower back problems for the past 4 to 6 months. I have heard other officers at my department who have even had surgeries and have lost days at work due to lower back problems. This all stems from the duty belt mostly. Yet my department won't allow duty suspenders to relieve some of the weight on the lower back. Even with several officers complaining of pain, missing time at work, and even having procedures done, the department is still resistant to allowing the suspenders. This makes no sense to me! We are working hard on the road for the department so I feel the department should work hard for us and look out for our best interest, when practical. Maybe there are varied opinions on this issue but please give me your thoughts and opinions. Thanks.

  • #2
    I wear duty suspenders and will never go back. They are a God sent.

    Since the administration won't listen to reason, you're next step would be to have your union talk directly to the city's risk management people. I guarentee that they will recommend the inclusion of suspenders to the mayor, council and chief. Let the pressure rain down from above.
    Originally posted by kontemplerande
    Without Germany, you would not have won World War 2.

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    • #3
      Cops have lower back pain at the same rate as civilians and for the same reasons. Wearing a gunbelt, or driving a patrol car doesn't have anything to do with it. The RCMP studied the problem several years ago and produced a report.

      Belts put weight on the pelvis, not the spine. Suspenders do put weight on the spine. We feel better wearing them because they allow us to loosen the gunbelt.

      There are exercises designed to strengthen back muscles. I'm here to tell you they work and will relieve back pain.

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      • #4
        When I was in the military and had to wear the 20lb. helmet along with the 30lb. flak vest along with the 25lb. LBE gear I started to develope lower back problems. I was shown by a Physical Therapist certain exercises to do to strengthen my lower back and have been pain free since. This has been around 11 years now. If you are not into big work outs, try isometrics (resistance training, simple leg lifts) workouts. The gear I wear now is nothing compared to the combat gear we had to wear 24/7 in combat areas.
        I am a Native American of non-Indian decent.

        Cleaning the pool, one gene at a time.

        I'm on a 30 day diet. So far I've lost 15 days!

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Outshined
          A couple of my guys have asked about suspenders, but I can't seem to find them to purchase. Any help on that SRT would be appreciated.
          I got mine from K&W.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by benhowden View Post
            I have only been a police officer for a year and I have had lower back problems for the past 4 to 6 months. I have heard other officers at my department who have even had surgeries and have lost days at work due to lower back problems. This all stems from the duty belt mostly. Yet my department won't allow duty suspenders to relieve some of the weight on the lower back. Even with several officers complaining of pain, missing time at work, and even having procedures done, the department is still resistant to allowing the suspenders. This makes no sense to me! We are working hard on the road for the department so I feel the department should work hard for us and look out for our best interest, when practical. Maybe there are varied opinions on this issue but please give me your thoughts and opinions. Thanks.

            If I could wear them with BDUs then I would. I think they look odd, and I think BDUs look odd so I wouldn't care if I wore them together. I prefer wearing traditional police uniforms, but I'll advocate suspenders for you.

            I'm relatively new to the field myself, and already my right sacroiliac joint, which has bouts of chronic inflammation, has taken a turn for the worse. I've also started having sciatic nerve troubles from sitting down for a long time. I wear nothing on the back of my belt as it is, and I'm getting to the point where I'm not going to have anything but a slingshot if this continues. When I wake up in the mornings, I can't bend forward at the waist anymore. It takes nearly two hours of moving around to loosen up down there or some progressively intense exercising. You should see how I brush my teeth in the, lol, if I don't just do it standing straight up in the shower. If I get to the point that surgery is required then I'll quit this line of work and go back to teaching science or utilize my other major in accounting I guess. Screw health problems.

            I only carry a pistol (can't give that up), 21" ASP baton, so close to the pistol you think it's part of the holster, handcuffs (gotta have those), radio (need this), taser (too lightweight to notice), and magazines (heavily burdensome but moderately necessary). All of this goes from about the eight o'clock point to the four o'clock point. (nothing in 5-7 region)

            Any cool desk jobs in police work? LOL

            On a side note, I think suspenders would be more invitational than a suicide strap.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Tunkle View Post
              When I was in the military and had to wear the 20lb. helmet along with the 30lb. flak vest along with the 25lb. LBE gear I started to develope lower back problems. I was shown by a Physical Therapist certain exercises to do to strengthen my lower back and have been pain free since. This has been around 11 years now. If you are not into big work outs, try isometrics (resistance training, simple leg lifts) workouts. The gear I wear now is nothing compared to the combat gear we had to wear 24/7 in combat areas.
              What do you do? I could use those.

              On back day at the gym I do some hyperextensions after an unGodly amount of warming up and stretching. Don't know that they've helped. I can't think of any other lower back stuff I do, and I've given up squats on leg day. I will NEVER ever do deadlifts, and I've given up military presses on shoulder day as it pushes too much in my lumbar region.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Seventy2002 View Post
                Cops have lower back pain at the same rate as civilians and for the same reasons. Wearing a gunbelt, or driving a patrol car doesn't have anything to do with it. The RCMP studied the problem several years ago and produced a report.

                Belts put weight on the pelvis, not the spine. Suspenders do put weight on the spine. We feel better wearing them because they allow us to loosen the gunbelt.

                There are exercises designed to strengthen back muscles. I'm here to tell you they work and will relieve back pain.

                I wouldn't think the weight is the issue. What hurts me is sitting with stuff on the back of my belt thus pushing ventrally on my lumbar and sacral vertebra. To solve this I wear nothing back there.

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                • #9
                  I've been wearing suspenders for about 3 1/2 years. They have helped my situation immensely. I rarely have back pain anymore.

                  I think the biggest problem wasn't so much the weight of the gear but the compression of my duty belt. I used to have numbness and pain radiating down my right leg. That has been virtually eliminated.

                  I was the first one in my department to get suspenders. The brass had me go to the department doc for approval. Since then, they've loosened up and now let anyone who wants to wear them.

                  I think they were more concerned about appearance than anything. The ones I got are leather and complement the uniform pretty nicely. Our uniform color is navy. I don't know how they'd look on a lighter color uniform.

                  LINK to pic from WEBSITE that I got mine from.

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                  • #10
                    Those who wear them like them. They may put weight on the spine, through the shoulders, but that's where weight is supposed to be. Your pelvis is not meant to support a lot of weight.
                    "Say hal-lo to my leetle frahnd!"

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                    • #11
                      This may be a weird question, but has anyone ever heard of, or worn suspenders under your uniform shirt? I'd imagine the shirt would have to be tailored. I like the support they offer, but they would not look good with our uniforms. Any thoughts? Thanks.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by OWI Enforcer View Post
                        This may be a weird question, but has anyone ever heard of, or worn suspenders under your uniform shirt? I'd imagine the shirt would have to be tailored. I like the support they offer, but they would not look good with our uniforms. Any thoughts? Thanks.
                        How would you attach them to the duty belt and still keep your shirt tucked in?
                        Tim Dees, now writing as a plain old forum member, his superpowers lost to an encounter with gold kryptonite.

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                        • #13
                          My SO has been allowing suspenders now for about 2-3 years. They are gradually becoming more populary with about 10% of the Department wearing them now. I have a pair, but I rarely wear a duty belt, so I haven't used them much. I will be, however, this fall.

                          Our's were approved on medical advice because of injuries sustained by a couple Deputies. They were really advocated for by Doctors and Chiropractors. We are approved the K&W brand, and I know that Blumenthal uniforms carries them.

                          As far as wearing them, I've heard of people wearing them under their uniform shirt. I've even seen at least one person here that does that. He had slits sewn into his shirts were the suspenders enter just above the D-ring belt keepers they attach to. The only thing protruding outside of the slit is the hook that mates to the D-ring. Worn this way, they are completely unnoticeable. I prefer to wear them in the normal fashion, however.
                          Nobody ever wants to have to fight, but its a darn good idea for someone to know how.

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