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Old May 21, 2017, 07:50 AM   #26
keithdog
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Keith,
Hate to say this, but maybe you should not cary this way anymore. I don't know how old you are but as we advance our age, our bodies do change and what we could do all day long, we can't do anymore. I think your body is trying to tell you something. Listen to it.
Just read your post as to what you carry. They are pretty light. I'm no MD. but at my age,again, things just don't work the same way.

Well, I'll be 58 in June, and you're right, things do change physically as we age. I just may have to make some changes in carry.
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Old May 21, 2017, 08:52 AM   #27
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Your IWB is most likely pressing on a nerve.

Moving to an OWB will eliminate most of that. Use a decent, 1.75" gunbelt will also help. Wearing it snuck but not tight also helps. And minimize the weight on the belt by only wearing a holster; not knives, mag pouches, etc.
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Old May 21, 2017, 09:18 AM   #28
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I have decided I will try a hybrid style holster to see if that won't alleviate some of the discomfort. There are a ton of them out there all claiming to do the same thing. Hidden Hybrid, Nate, Crossbreed. They all have their fans for various reasons. One I am thinking about trying is made by Veeder Holsters. I hear a lot of good things about Veeder. Here is one I am looking at.
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Old May 21, 2017, 09:22 AM   #29
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Well, I can't seem to get the picture to upload, but you guys know what I'm talking about. Maybe the more even weight distribution will be a big help.
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Old May 21, 2017, 12:40 PM   #30
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I feel your pain. Literally.

After having worn a thick uniform leather gun belt for many years, as well as thick and firm leather belts to support large off-duty weapons (and magazine carriers for the pistols), I've developed some easily aggravated "hot spots' on both hips (iliac crests) and glutes. Sometimes it could radiate to a knee. It probably didn't help that my preferred carry method for so long as a younger man was IWB (including with large frame revolvers).

As I hit my 50's I noticed that even the best made paddles and OWB leather belt scabbards could start to result in glute, lower back and even IT band pain. Sometimes it took several hours, but sometimes it happened more quickly. I stopped carrying the full-size and/or all-steel duty weapons and went to lightweight aluminum-framed issued pistols. It helped a little, but after a while I couldn't wait to get even the lightest weight duty weapons off my hip at the end of 10-16hrs.

I also took to carrying a 5-shot Airweight snub more often on my own time. Pocket (holster) carry became a way to avoid aggravating my hip, although occasionally a good quality paddle or OWB belt slide didn't aggravate the hot spots.

I also had to start varying both the belts I used, as well as considering the way the jeans, slacks and cargo shorts I wore fell on my hips. Some were better than others in this regard.

I eventually started to broach the subject with other retired guys, and discovered that a surprising number of them were suffering many of the same problems, to one degree or another.

Nowadays I find it much easier to pocket holster one of several J-frames or a LCP. Sometimes one of my jackets will let me carry one of my G26's, G27 or CS9, pocket holstered, in a generous sized inside breast pocket. A couple of my riding jackets and leather riding vests also have strong pockets that will accept a snub or smallish pistol. A leather jacket and a pair of the leather vests were designed with reinforced leather pockets which would accept handguns.

Bottom line? Some days are better than others, and sometimes just changing the belt, holster or overall size, shape and weight of a gun can alleviate issues for a while.

I spent a lot of years with tightly cinched belts holding thin (1911, 3rd gen S&W's) and thick (.357 & .44 revolvers) guns against my sides, and carrying 2-3 spare magazines on my opposite hip, and that was just off-duty, on my own time. That seems to have resulted in some cumulative aggravation.
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Old May 21, 2017, 04:02 PM   #31
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Another option you might consider is wearing a pair of suspenders, and a belt.

Perry Suspenders makes suspenders that can be clipped onto a belt. In warm weather suspenders can be worn over a wicking t shirt, and under another outer shirt.

You might also want to consider something like a Smith & Wesson 642 and a couple of speed strips.
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Old May 23, 2017, 10:12 AM   #32
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Not sure what body type you have, but if you are on the thinner side you could try appendix carry. I bought a Vedder IWB holster for my Glock 26 and carry it at about 1 O'Clock. It is very comfortable when standing or walking, but not so much while sitting. Since I am usually on my feet, it works for me. If you sit alot, cross draw would be something to try.
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Old May 23, 2017, 12:19 PM   #33
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Gents, I think the problem is the holster AND the belt.

The new flexible web belts used, like the 'tactical' 511s are not rigid. Thus you have to make it tight to keep the holster stable. And holsters that have hard backs tend to push on the kidneys to boot, especially polymer holsters.

Plus it is aggravated when you weapon choice is a heavy one.

A good quality leather belt you don't have to cinch tight and a lighter weapon is what I'd suggest. And maybe a leather holster or just some soft material epoxied to the back of the holster.

And yes, I am affected by this very thing myself! It ain't fun when you are in pain just walking.

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Old May 23, 2017, 04:00 PM   #34
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I find that carrying a dual mag pouch on my left side balances the weight of the gun on the right, not entirely though as they are not the same weight, but maybe that highlights an option to carry an identical gun on the left side? Someone once told me the best reload is another gun.
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Old May 23, 2017, 05:44 PM   #35
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Keith, you've already gotten several good responses to your OP, but I wanted to add a couple things. First, when it comes to chiropractors and acupuncturists, it definitely pays to do you research and find one with across-the-board excellent reviews. I've had 'bad' ones, and they can do more damage than just leaving things alone.

I do recommend acupuncture, done by a good practitioner. I have had sciatica for more than a decade now, and since I started seeing an acupuncturist (five years ago), I've been able to stop taking pain meds at all, and just have to get needled once or twice a year. That has saved me several hundred $$ a year alone.

As for your carry situation: if you find you are suffering from sciatica, try adjusting your belt height. For myself, lowering my belt height by just an inch made a real difference. And as far as holsters go, I found N82 Tactical holsters about the softest most comfortable holsters I've ever worn.

And I agree with others that you should consider adjusting your carry position slightly. If you were carrying at 3 o'clock, then try 2;30 or 3:30, or even 2 or 4. Unfortunately, you may find that you just can't carry at your usual position anymore if the nerves are damaged enough.
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Old May 23, 2017, 07:18 PM   #36
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I'm not any kind of medical professional,and I'm not giving advice,just telling my own experience.Its also true my experience may have nothing in common with what you are experiencing.
I worked several years as a school custodian. Summers,that included a lot of hours running a floor buffer.The ergos of that affected my lower back,right hip,and leg.
There were multiple issues.
One had to do with the piriformis muscle.Its the higher large muscle of the butt.Mine got hard as a brick and would not relax.
Some major nerves route through the piriformis/pelvis zone.The contracted muscle was causing problems with the nerve.Without going too far into the long story,I think I ended up getting some adhesions around this nerve.
Another problem via the buffer and countering the torque through my pelvis and spine,my hip/spine alignment was messed up.
At the worst,I couldn't work,I couldn't walk 300 yds,I was in a lot of pain,and my leg went numb.
This was a bad problem for nearly a year. In the end,I was evaluated with 18% permanent disability.
There were pelvic and spinal cortisone injections,weekly appts with PT's,spinal specialists,a chiropractor,drugs,etc.
Initially,I could not move far enough to do my PT. I suggested massage. They fixed me up. My therapist had a sharp,bony elbow and she knew how to use it.
She focused on tenderizing my piriformis.That done,I could stretch and walk.
A series of stretches actually helped keep the major nerves from getting "stuck" again.
A couple of things. Belt tension is going to affect the piriformis,and a lack of circulation through the muscle will cause some buildup of the wrong juices. Lactic acid maybe? I don't know.My Dr specifically mentioned a tight belt.
Custodians can have the same issues as plumbers..sagging! So my belt was tight.
There is also a posture/ergo thing that matters a lot. Packing iron,we can subtly,unconsciously alter stance/posture. Right handed may lead with the left foot,or tend to have the hips rotated,etc.
IMO balanced,square posture is important.Don't favor weight to one foot.
Consult your own medical experts,but you might discuss a stretching routine around the nerves through the periformis.
Belt tension is a problem.Consider suspenders.Even sitting on a fat wallet is a problem.
And walking/moving is good.
If muscles that won't relax are an issue,medical massage can help.
I suggest until you find remedies that work,you not do things that aggravate the problem.
Good luck!!

Last edited by HiBC; May 23, 2017 at 09:55 PM.
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Old May 24, 2017, 10:00 PM   #37
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So, do you guys think SUSPENDERS would help? Wear the gun but 'float' the pants? No tight belts that way.

Just a thought. That or a shoulder holster.

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Old May 25, 2017, 12:11 PM   #38
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Appendix IWB carry (12:30-1:00) a possibility?
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Old May 25, 2017, 02:02 PM   #39
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HiBC listed one of the anatomical issues related to this sort of thing.

I remember a PT and a massage therapist working on a tight piriformis, but also a tightened psoas. Both were very understanding of the accumulated stresses caused by wearing thick leather gun belts on-duty, and then continuing to wear leather holsters against my hip on my off-duty time.

Both designs of thick leather belts were seemingly connected to the imbalance created in my hips for hours at a time, taking their toll over the years (meaning late 20's, 30's and into my early 40's).

Eventually sensitivity developed at the iliac crests, and then along the IT band (lliotibial band).

Due to a work-related shoulder injury, and then a mysterious brachial plexus problem, shoulder holsters are something I like to avoid (as is wearing a backpack).

The psoas muscles dislike wearing a too thick, wide or heavy belt along the abdomen and over the hips, so AIWB carry, for me, is a sure way to experience pain when sitting, and even when standing, over a long enough time.

Careful exercise and stretching (foam rollers, wedge, etc) are needed to address these conditions from becoming aggravated, which is a good way to remind myself to keep my hips (glutes/pelvis) and legs mobile. Occasionally I've also been using an ankle attachment for different exercise band/cables, with wall attachments, to work on the type flexible strength I used to enjoy as a younger martial artist.

More than 40 years and 40 pounds later, flexibility is different than when I was jumping and floating when working the heavy bag, although I enjoy the increased upper body weight and strength (which I wished I could've developed as a youngster ).

If I were able, I'd go back and start changing the size and weight of the handguns I wore on my own time, and the types of holsters I used to carry them. I'd also have switched to using a Buscadero rig for as many years as possible, to shift and spread out the pressure for my uniform gun belt, and have sooner gone to using the smaller and lighter compact pistols for my plainclothes assignment., Hindsight, right?

Looking at the young cops using the new "tactical suspenders" and soft synthetic "equipment belts" (what we used to call gun belts), perhaps they'll suffer less eventual imbalances and avoid some of the pain.
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Old May 25, 2017, 04:10 PM   #40
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I don't know that carry would be the cause of your problem, but maybe an exacerbation of it.

In other words you might want to look at the cause itself. I have lower back pain. It is the result of poor posture, a lack of exercise and spending hours sitting at a desk. Hip pain may well be traced back to pressure on nerves from inflammation elsewhere. I suffered from terrible leg pain but it was from a prolapsed spinal disc and nothing to do with my leg itself.

One way I've addressed it is Pilates to strength my core stability muscles. I'd wager that if you address this issue and improve it you will find that carry is not an issue at all. It may simply be that your back is on a knife edge and carrying tips it one way.

I hope you address it successfully.
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Old May 25, 2017, 09:10 PM   #41
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Suspenders

Pelican and one other agreed. If you haven't tried them, you should. Perry makes good ones...I have worn them for years, no back pain, gun is always where I want it. they also work just fine with shoulder holsters too.
Don't knock suspenders if you haven't tried them.
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Old May 26, 2017, 06:22 AM   #42
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I really appreciate all the replies to my post, and there are MANY great suggestions here to mull over and look into. Thank you to all who replied.
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Old May 26, 2017, 07:51 AM   #43
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When I was younger I used suspenders to support my tool belt when framing houses. It made a huge difference, but limited mobility somewhat as far as climbing are the trusses etc. I had forgot about those. I would think for daily activity it might be just the ticket for a heavy rig.

I highly recommend yoga for a variety of ailments. I see everyone in there from young and fit to older, injured and people in various stages of physical recovery.

An unbiased assessment.
http://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/a-z/yoga-workouts

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Old May 26, 2017, 09:48 AM   #44
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Not gun related but... I recently started taking fish oil capsules and I have noticed a huge alleviation from my arthritis discomfort.
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Old May 28, 2017, 11:41 AM   #45
Andy Blozinski
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I have a shoulder holster that I wear backwards from how the manufacturer intended. I do it as outside the waistband, but you could probably work something similar with the right manufacturer combo for inside the waistband.
The important thing for you is that the pain causing weight on your belt becomes a non-issue.
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Old May 28, 2017, 03:33 PM   #46
keithdog
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Ok, one of the things I am also going to try is suspenders. I work for a fire equipment company and we supply fire departments everything they need. We have heavy duty suspenders. That just might help. My main issue from my back according to two doctors is my repetitive motion and lifting at work. So I am taking notice of exactly how I perform my duties and trying to change it up a bit. Also going to start taking fish oil suppliiments as was suggested. I have other health related issues those can help with. Going to purchase a quality gun belt as well. Loose some weight and exercises for the back, and have a new mattress on the way. AND, for those of you who are saying that you are no doctor but....just remember, sometimes common sense and real life experience does far more than a fancy degree hung in a frame.
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Old May 29, 2017, 01:32 AM   #47
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Fish oil isn't a terrible idea but you might also want to get your vitamin D level checked. Lots of people in the "developed world" are actually deficient in it. Long-term deficiency in vitamin D can contribute to all sorts of problems and the science is only just starting to catch up. It is an easy thing to have checked. If deficient, it's just a matter of finding the right form of vitamin D and maybe taking a co-supplement like vitamin K2.
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Old May 29, 2017, 01:04 PM   #48
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Some people just HATE being advised to exercise. First off, exercise is not "medical advice." It's self preservation. It's more likely to save your life than carrying a gun. Exercise is a big deal. There's an inherent flaw in the mindset that your life is too valuable and therefore you must carry for protection, yet it's not valuable enough to stay in shape so that your body doesn't wither and die. If you aren't getting exercise but you want to have a good quality of life, you'd better start. Exercise fights depression, helps with aging, strong muscles support joints to prevent joint pain, it even exercises your brain... Physical fitness is the number one self preservation skill. Tools like firearms come secondary.
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Old May 31, 2017, 11:02 AM   #49
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I'm just a young college kid, but I feel I have something to offer here.

I highly recommend a PT over a chiropractor. PT's focus on the anatomy and physiology of all muscles and joints whereas chiropractors are mainly specialized in the spine and nervous system. A PT would be able to provide an exercise plan in a clinic and for you to do at home, and work with you specifically on your back and hip pain. Yes general exercise is greatly important for your overall health, strength, etc., but in order to deal with your specific problem, supervised exercise with a specific focus is the way to go. If you do go the PT route, ask about aquatic therapy. It has a lot of benefits and it's a lot more fun than going into a clinic for everything.

Yoga stretches for the back and hips could be great as well. Don't worry, not all poses are trying to turn you into a human pretzel. A simple youtube search on beginner hip/back yoga would give you some good routines to follow at home.

As others have stated, choosing a new carry position would probably help until you've dealt with the pain.

For what it's worth, I'm a senior biology major studying to be a PT and have worked in a clinic as a tech for almost 2 years. I have also been a chiropractic patient in high school and wish I would have known about PT more back then. Would have opted for that route.

Good luck.
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