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  • Back problems in LEO....

    I was just wondering how many Officers here have had back problems. I sustained I lifetime disability from my military service, and herniated 2 disk in my back. Due to my young age, surgery is not yet an option.

    Just yesterday (thank GOD it was my day off!) I ended up done for the rest of the day. I bent over to pick something up, and next thing I know I'm on the ground damn near in the fetal position crying with my girlfriend (A nurse, thank god for that as well) standing over me asking what just happened.

    I just want to do a good job, and be dependable to my fellow officers, and on most occasions, my backs not a problem other than normal pain and stiffness, and hasn't presented to any problems till the end of the day.

    Yesterday was the first time in a LONG time that I had to take pain medication and a muscle relaxer to cope.

    What's you take on it and how it affects one's career?
    You have the right to remain silent, but apparently you lack the skill to exercise that right.

  • #2
    Back problems in LEO....

    I didn't feel like retyping the whole thread...so please check out the link.

    http://forums.officer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=69358
    You have the right to remain silent, but apparently you lack the skill to exercise that right.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by D.o.D cop View Post
      I was just wondering how many Officers here have had back problems. I sustained I lifetime disability from my military service, and herniated 2 disk in my back. Due to my young age, surgery is not yet an option.

      Just yesterday (thank GOD it was my day off!) I ended up done for the rest of the day. I bent over to pick something up, and next thing I know I'm on the ground damn near in the fetal position crying with my girlfriend (A nurse, thank god for that as well) standing over me asking what just happened.

      I just want to do a good job, and be dependable to my fellow officers, and on most occasions, my backs not a problem other than normal pain and stiffness, and hasn't presented to any problems till the end of the day.

      Yesterday was the first time in a LONG time that I had to take pain medication and a muscle relaxer to cope.

      What's you take on it and how it affects one's career?
      I have known a few guys that have developed back problems from the car, gun belt etc... Some have worn the duty suspenders and some have dealt with medically.
      "Fast is fine, but accuracy is everything!"-Wyatt Earp

      "You never know when crazy will show up!"-Irishdep

      Comment


      • #4
        LOL, you should have just had the thread moved.

        There's some that will say there is no link to LE/duty belts/etc and back pain. I disagree. My whole squad is proof that there is a link...we're down one now as a matter of fact because she, like you, has two disk problems and they kicked up FOUR weeks ago...she's facing surgery. It's not possible that I not have something in the small of my back because my belt is small, there's not the room. Sitting and moving around with all that weight on my waist is NOT good for my lower back, hence the reason I LOOOOVVVEEE my chiropractor...love him...I wear bruises on my hip bones from my belt, so I know it can't be good in the long run.

        Lower back exercises and core strength workouts...yeah, do those too. I can't say they don't help because I don't know how back it would be without them.
        sigpic

        I don't agree with your opinion, but I respect its straightforwardness in terms of wrongness.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by irishdep View Post
          I have known a few guys that have developed back problems from the car, gun belt etc... Some have worn the duty suspenders and some have dealt with medically.
          What I'm hoping here is that despite this problem I can continue my career and retire from LE one day, and if the my PD catches wind of hw serious my problem may be they won't get rid of me. It's hasn't come to the point were I've had to use sicks days for it.
          You have the right to remain silent, but apparently you lack the skill to exercise that right.

          Comment


          • #6
            6 years ago I was involved in a real bad TC on duty (My partner that night retired from the injuries she sustained in the crash) and herniated 2 disks in my back. I took about 2 weeks off with back pain and went back to full duty. (Stupid on my part!)
            2 years ago, the pain in my back and leg became unbearable and I went to my doctor. 6 months of lying in bed, physical therapy and cortozone shots later, and I am all good. But the injury is still there, and I could herniate the disks by sneezing hard according to my doctor.

            Light weight gun belts and vests are key to everyday working in a radio car. The other key is keeping your weight in check and taking as much stress off your back/legs as you can. Working out correctly and doing exercises that strengthen the back and abdominal muscles is very important.

            Go see a good physical therapist and set up a work out/training program. This will definitely lengthen your career.
            Carpe Noctem

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by D.o.D cop View Post
              I was just wondering how many Officers here have had back problems. I sustained I lifetime disability from my military service, and herniated 2 disk in my back. Due to my young age, surgery is not yet an option.

              Just yesterday (thank GOD it was my day off!) I ended up done for the rest of the day. I bent over to pick something up, and next thing I know I'm on the ground damn near in the fetal position crying with my girlfriend (A nurse, thank god for that as well) standing over me asking what just happened.

              I just want to do a good job, and be dependable to my fellow officers, and on most occasions, my backs not a problem other than normal pain and stiffness, and hasn't presented to any problems till the end of the day.

              Yesterday was the first time in a LONG time that I had to take pain medication and a muscle relaxer to cope.

              What's you take on it and how it affects one's career?
              I herniated a disk in my back while in the Military, I had the surgery though. It took about 6 months after the surgery for me to get back to 100%, but it was the best decision for me. The Doc removed the bad part of the disk, so no more chance of herniating that particular disk again. As far as being too young, I was 25 when I had my surgery. One thing I started a few months after my surgery is doing hyperextensions to strengthen the muscles in my lower back. I had a very good experience with my doctor and my surgery, so I'm more inclined to say get it fixed surgically, but you have to ddecide what is right for you.
              "Out of every 100 men sent to battle, 10 shouldn't even be there, 80 are just targets, 9 are the real fighters, and we are lucky to have them for they make the battle. Ah, but the one, one is a Warrior and he will bring the others back." -Heraclitus

              Comment


              • #8
                right on point, especially the work out program....


                Originally posted by EMVAMPYRE View Post

                Light weight gun belts and vests are key to everyday working in a radio car. The other key is keeping your weight in check and taking as much stress off your back/legs as you can. Working out correctly and doing exercises that strengthen the back and abdominal muscles is very important.

                Go see a good physical therapist and set up a work out/training program. This will definitely lengthen your career.
                ''Life's tough......it's tougher if you're stupid.''
                -- John Wayne

                Comment


                • #9
                  EMVAMPYRE had some good advice. The exercises and stretches that a physical therapist can teach you are VERY helpful. The massages are nice too

                  Also just paying attention to your posture makes a humongous difference:
                  • How you sleep: On your back, knees slightly elevated, head slightly elevated.
                  • How you sit: Feet flat on the floor, shins and back perpendicular to the floor, and thighs parallel to the floor. Scoot your butt to the back of the chair and use the chair's backrest. Hunching forward is bad.
                  • How you get up: Scoot to the front of the chair and stand with your legs. Don't lunge forward with your back.
                  • How you stand: Feet shoulder width apart, knees/back/neck straight, looking straight ahead of you and stretching the top of your head toward the ceiling.
                  • How you lift: Try to use both hands instead of lifting everything (especially heavy objects) with your dominant hand. Lift with your knees instead of your back
                  • How you walk: This is less important for some but I have coordination problems so it matters to me. Big strides stretch and exercise your muscles better. Plan where your feet will go and make sure you are stepping accurately and walking straight. Walking around like a clumsy brute is stressful on your back.
                  • How much you move. Move around constantly, if you stay in the same position all the time it will cause problems.


                  The painkillers are good to have on hand for emergencies like you described. It's good that you don't need them daily just to cope with the pain. Too many people fall down that slippery slope. Painkillers don't fix anything, they're meant to get you through short episodes of pain.

                  I'm amazed that you still want to be a cop. I only work in accounting and my back/neck pain sometimes gets in the way of my job.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I would offer this, do not waste time with the chiropractor route. All they do is release the gases from within the joint. Sure, it feels good for a short time, but the reason you need to keep going back is there is no medical cure for your condition within the treatment. The entire point of seeking real medical help is to find a permanent cure for your condition if possible.

                    I would simply skip them and go to a reputable sports-medicine surgeon. Many of these guys, especially ones affiliated with univerisities, are nearly miracle workers. All they do is deal with these kinds of injuries. We had a defensive back break a couple vertibrae in his neck (Amp Campbell) against Oregon, and was told he would be lucky to walk again, let alone ever play. He had them fused by a sports med surgeon, and he was back on the field the next year when we played Oregon, and ran an interception back for a touchdown. These guys can do almost anything.

                    Thats the route I would take, but you have to go your own way and choose what is best for you. But weigh all the options before you make a decision.
                    Fighting the good fight, one beer at a time.

                    "Defense aint for no nice people." Neamiah Warrick, first year starting Saftey, Michigan State University 2006

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      See my post in Squad Room.
                      Fighting the good fight, one beer at a time.

                      "Defense aint for no nice people." Neamiah Warrick, first year starting Saftey, Michigan State University 2006

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by D.o.D cop View Post

                        What's you take on it and how it affects one's career?
                        Back problems have affected my career by causing my retirement, twice.

                        In the 1979, my agency ordered me to retire due to several work related back injuries. I recovered enough to go back to work in 1983 and stayed until 2005, when more injuries caused them to order my retirement again. Our pension system is slow to act and this month (two years later) the Public Employee's Retirement System finally got off it's butt and approved my disability retirement.

                        You might want to ask your doctor about a drug called Lyrica. It was designed to prevent seizures, but pain management specialists are prescribing it for back injuries because it deadens the nerves. I have been taking it for five months and it has knocked out about 70% of my back pain. There are two negative about it though. First, if you are a diabetic who takes insulin, it can cause weight gain. Second, it can make you drowsy. While I have not experienced drowsiness when awake, it does make me sleep very well at night.
                        Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I was DQ'd numerous times when trying to get into law enforcement due to an asymptomatic back condition diagnosed during pre-employment phyisicals by x-ray. The orthopedic surgeons I consulted (several and very costly) each agreed that most back injuries are preventable. How we lift heavy loads, bend over to pick things up, sit and carry the things we carry regularly makes a huge impact on the level of risk. We can't prevent all "altercations" with violent suspects, but we can decide how we get a drunk to his feet (with and without assistance). We can decide how bend over (or squat) to pickup things on the ground. Do we wear heavy Sam Brownes that aren't flexible or (if department policy allows) use light weight/flexible nylon web gear? Next week, I'll have 28 years full time LE experience plus almost three years prior to that as a reserve officer and (to date) no back problems. I could just be lucky, but I really believe that good officer safety means thinking about good tactics before doing the more "routine" things applies to back, knee, shoulder and ankle safety! I've known far more officers end their careers with "simple" slip and falls, than with traumatic (ie: gunshot or blunt force trauma) injuries.
                          "I'm not fluent in the language of violence, but I know enough to get around in places where it's spoken."

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Smurfette_76 View Post
                            There's some that will say there is no link to LE/duty belts/etc and back pain. I disagree.
                            The people you disagree with specialize in back injuries, base their conclusions on a large sample, and publish in a peer-reviewed journal.

                            My whole squad is proof that there is a link...
                            My squad is proof there isn't.

                            Why do you put up with gear that leaves bruises? Give your $$ to a custom leather shop instead of the chiropractor.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by L-1 View Post
                              Back problems have affected my career by causing my retirement, twice.

                              In the 1979, my agency ordered me to retire due to several work related back injuries. I recovered enough to go back to work in 1983 and stayed until 2005, when more injuries caused them to order my retirement again. Our pension system is slow to act and this month (two years later) the Public Employee's Retirement System finally got off it's butt and approved my disability retirement.

                              You might want to ask your doctor about a drug called Lyrica. It was designed to prevent seizures, but pain management specialists are prescribing it for back injuries because it deadens the nerves. I have been taking it for five months and it has knocked out about 70% of my back pain. There are two negative about it though. First, if you are a diabetic who takes insulin, it can cause weight gain. Second, it can make you drowsy. While I have not experienced drowsiness when awake, it does make me sleep very well at night.
                              Wow. That's sounds like a double plus good for me! I have a hard time sleeping at night anyways, usually only a couple of hours here and there if I'm lucky.
                              You have the right to remain silent, but apparently you lack the skill to exercise that right.

                              Comment

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