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Old May 17, 2017, 10:19 PM   #1
keithdog
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IWB carry and pain.

I'd like to bring up this issue as it seems to be an issue developing with me and perhaps I'm not alone. I carried IWB for several years without issue. Now however, I've noticed that carrying IWB causes lower back pain, and hip pain after an hour of carrying. I developed lower back pain about a year ago, and hip pain has been an issue for s few years now. But the pain is definitely increased when I am carrying a hand gun on the hip. The chiropractor has been no help at all. Seemed to make things worse. Carrying OWB causes less pain, but there still seems to be an increase in discomfort. I had knee replacement surgery in January which corrected my uneven walk greatly so maybe in time the pain will decrease. But I don't know that for certain. I find myself not carrying as often simply because of this reason. So I thought I would reach out to those here in the forums to ask if you have faced the same condition, and what you did to deal with it.
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Old May 18, 2017, 03:52 AM   #2
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I've always had a slight twinge in my right hip. And it does seem to be exacerbated by carrying. My small revolver not so much. My double stack 9mm a tad more. I just deal with it right now but it could affect me more down the road
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Old May 18, 2017, 07:36 AM   #3
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Sorry to hear about your discomfort. Have you thought about changing sides? If you carry on your dominate side, a switch to cross-draw might be better than not carrying at all.

Just a thought...
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Old May 18, 2017, 08:27 AM   #4
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+1 on cross-draw. May also want to look at something smaller like a LCP for back pocket carry in a pocket holster. It is pretty much undetectable in that configuration. Yeah, it's a peashooter but better than a sharp stick.
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Old May 18, 2017, 08:28 AM   #5
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Have you tried exercise, lift weights, PT, etc? If you want to continue to carry in the manner you are then that is your solution. Otherwise, change the way you carry.
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Old May 18, 2017, 09:09 AM   #6
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First I would recommend you start exercising, if you aren't already. I'm 53 and started training Brazilian Jiu Jitsu recently and it has helped dramatically with core strength and stamina. You don't need to go this route though, as basic weight lifting or strength training will help a lot. Once the muscles start to get old and weaken, it leads to spinal problems. Regular exercise will help in all aspects of life, so it's a good idea to stay active.

Next I would recommend you find another Chiropractor. There is a major difference between Chiropractors and a good one ought to be able to make a difference.

Third, I would say that if you don't have one already, invest in a quality belt and holster combination. OWB is generally more comfortable, but IWB is doable and much more comfortable with good equipment.

As to gun belts... I carry with a Ted Blocker leather belt for OWB (44oz unloaded revolver, heavier with 44 mag ammo on board) or an SOE Webbing Belt for IWB (Glock). The SOE allows for much finer adjustment to get the fit right, so it is perfect for IWB carry. A quality gun belt will support the weight more evenly and if you are exercising and in alignment, that should make most of the problems go away.

If all else fails, get an X-Ray or MRI so see if you have a more serious condition...

I wish you the best and hope you find a solution that works for you...
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Old May 18, 2017, 09:19 AM   #7
dahermit
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Quote:
Have you tried exercise, lift weights, PT, etc?
He is likely looking for advice relative to guns inasmuch as this is a firearms site. If he wanted medical advice, I should think that he would ask his doctor...assuming you are not a doctor.
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Old May 18, 2017, 10:39 AM   #8
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Quote:
He is likely looking for advice relative to guns inasmuch as this is a firearms site. If he wanted medical advice, I should think that he would ask his doctor...assuming you are not a doctor.
Most here are not medical doctors. He asked about solutions for physical discomfort as a result of carrying a handgun. Strength and flexibility training can make a real difference. Fitness in general will make carrying a gun easier. I don't need a medical degree to recommend these things. I speak from my own experience.

For the record, the question is a firearm related medical question. Answering that question with a recommendation to improve ones physical conditioning is a reasonable response.
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Old May 18, 2017, 11:41 AM   #9
Lohman446
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Once I made a joke that I was either going to have to switch to OWB carry, find a thinner firearm, or watch my diet a little closer.

It was only said partially in jest. A firearm IWB should add noticeably to your waistline. If your pants and belt are comfortable without one going up a size surely is not going to hurt. A good belt and possible one of the hybrid holsters that disperse the weight more effectively may also help. I find that when carrying IWB I lean towards the firearm slightly and I know an incorrect posture can cause havoc - this can be offset by carrying a spare magazine, speedloader, or flashlight opposite the firearm.
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Old May 18, 2017, 11:51 AM   #10
T. O'Heir
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"...carried IWB for several years without issue..." Other than time, what has else changed? Any abdominal medical issues like hernia's, etc.?
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Old May 18, 2017, 12:06 PM   #11
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I carry on my right side OBH. (good belt.) Never a problem and my T shirts hides mine just fine. Carrying 47 years. I am 65.
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Old May 18, 2017, 10:15 PM   #12
keithdog
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I believe part of my problem is two fold. I've carried a tool pouch on my right hip for work for 30 years now. So that may be a contributing cause. Also, repetitive movements at work could be a cause. I also walked with a bad limp for many years which I believe stressed the back and hips. This January, I got a new knee, and the limp is not nearly what it once was. I have to agree with earlier comments on exercise. Strengthening the back no doubt would help, along with loosing some weight. I'm wondering if a IWB hybrid holster would be more comfortable than the standard IWB Kydex holster I've been using. I always thought they looked bulky, but perhaps for now, that would be a big help.
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Old May 19, 2017, 05:36 AM   #13
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Quote:
... I've carried a tool pouch on my right hip for work for 30 years... repetitive movements at work... I also walked with a bad limp for many years... This January, I got a new knee, and the limp is not nearly what it once was. I have to agree with earlier comments on exercise. Strengthening the back no doubt would help, along with loosing some weight...
I'm not a doctor but for what it's worth, there seems to be a lot of possible factors here. I highlighted the one that really catches my attention. It sounds like you had a significant orthopedic change there. If you are walking differently, you are using your muscles and joints differently. You are producing different stresses on your body that might not seem like much in the moment but that can add up. Your normal carry spot could coincide with a place that is being stressed differently and is therefore more subject to irritation. It could also be that your carry spot itself has shifted such that the gun is creating different stresses on your body.

There is the old joke about the guy who went to the doctor and said "it hurts when I do this" and the doctor replied "don't do it". I'd recommend that you stop carrying that way for now. Find something new, at least for a while. In the meantime, discuss this with an orthopedic specialist who understands the hips and lower back. You'll want to check with a doctor anyway regarding physical therapy and/or the right exercises for your individual situation.
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Old May 19, 2017, 06:52 AM   #14
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Quote:
the standard IWB Kydex holster I've been using. I always thought they looked bulky, but perhaps for now, that would be a big help.


Keith as others have mentioned exercise and weight loss are always a good thing. As Kydex does not flex or give your current holster may well be a large part of what is causing your pain. Perhaps a new leather holster may be a help. I’ve used the Lobo Leather IWB holsters for several years and have been very pleased with them. The Lobo brand is not the cheapest or most expensive option, but they are a great value.

Best of luck.
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Old May 19, 2017, 08:17 AM   #15
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Quote:
I've carried a tool pouch on my right hip for work for 30 years now.
Very similar to the back issues you see with a lot of long-distance truckers who sit with a fat wallet in one back pocket and their spine getting tweaked - over the long haul, it gets a little worse. The cross-draw idea might be worth a try at least or the one about pocket-carrying a LCP or similar.
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Old May 19, 2017, 09:48 AM   #16
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Or a sales rep.....

There is some great advice in FITASC's post above.

It's not just truckers who spend too much time behind the wheel. Been doing about 65 K per year in the work car for close to three decades now.

I know 65 K is nothing for a trucker, however joe average does 12-15 K per year. My first ten years as an outside sales rep I too carried a wallet in a back pocket. I jokingly referred to my fat wallet as my filing cabinet. It was full of expense receipts.

Just did not know the damage I was doing, I live with the pain now. I can't say I recommend that!!

Have too many friends that are worse off after having lower back surgery. I'll continue to avoid that route although I am hearing lately that technology is improving the odds of having a good result.
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Old May 19, 2017, 10:01 AM   #17
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ouch!

I switched to a back pocket Desantis holster to carry an AMT Backup.

No additional back stress but firepower is sacrificed.

My Hi-Power was just getting too un comfortable for all day IWB carry.
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Old May 19, 2017, 10:55 AM   #18
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I have carried a G19 in a Crossbreed Super Tuck for about 6 years now. I spend a lot of time in the truck for work and find less back issues when I sit with out being holstered (hard to draw from there too). I recently got a Smith 642 which I front pocket more than the IWB now. I do notice less issues,but I have also been doing Bikram Yoga since February and will vouch for the idea of being more fit. I also have less discomfort when I OWB the Glock. I always said the Super Tuck was really comfy, but I am now wondering about the long term myself.
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Old May 19, 2017, 08:45 PM   #19
pelican
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What kind of gun are you currently carrying, and how much does it weigh? Perhaps carrying a smaller and lighter weight gun would help. Have you considered using a shoulder holster, or even an ankle holster?

Last edited by pelican; May 19, 2017 at 10:08 PM.
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Old May 19, 2017, 09:39 PM   #20
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Things to try.

Move the position of the gun on your belt. Moving it a couple of inches one way or the other might make a difference if the problem is that the gun/holster combo is pressing on a particularly sensitive nerve.

Try a smaller/lighter gun. Not ideal, but it's better than not carrying at all.

Try carrying OWB instead of IWB. You may have to go to a heavier/longer cover garment to conceal, but OWB seems to put less pressure on the belt line and that can help a lot with this kind of issue.

Try a sturdier belt. A more sturdy belt might hold the gun firmly without the need for cinching it too tightly. Sometimes the problem isn't actually where the gun is pressing, it's that it's exerting a force on the belt and the belt has to be tightened to hold everything in place. A belt that's specifically made to be stiff (some are even steel reinforced) can hold the weight firmly even if it's not tightened up.
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Old May 19, 2017, 10:51 PM   #21
keithdog
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What kind of gun are you currently carrying, and how much does it weigh? Perhaps carrying a smaller and lighter weight gun would help. Have you considered using a shoulder holster, or even an ankle holster?

I use two guns. I have the Walther PPS-M2 for my normal carry and an LCPII for pocket carry with light weight clothing. The PPS-M2 weighs around 21oz. The PPS being my preferred gun to carry, I find the LCPII coming into use quite frequently and it is obviously less painful for sure. Very nice for summer shorts and a tee shirt.
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Old May 19, 2017, 11:24 PM   #22
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The PPS is the smallest and lightest 9mm handgun that I can comfortably shoot. I imagine that it would be very comfortable in a high-riding OWB with two good retention points. What JohnKSa said about using a proper gun belt is absolutely true. If you don't already, you won't know how good of an investment it is until you do.

The PPS should easily disappear into a shoulder holster during colder weather if you're open to it. (I've found that shoulder-carrying frees me up for full-sized semis but I am a bigger guy.) Besides being able to draw more easily from sitting positions or the driver's seat of a car, it shouldn't push on your problem areas. It does pull down a little on the shoulder but with something like the PPS, I wouldn't worry about it.

Pocket carry can be tricky but have you tried it with the small "flat" magazine in a pocket holster? It depends on what kind of pants you wear but it could work.
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Old May 20, 2017, 07:33 AM   #23
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No Dr. Here but I would get it checked out if it's persistent. I personally just found out I have a cyst on my spine which has been causing LB pain for about 6 months now. MRI is the only reason I know now, my next course is talking to a neurosurgeon in a month to see what I can do. Carrying was a little aggravating but I bought a thicker leather belt, 2 clip IWB Foxx holster and it is a definite relief. I as well use to carry a electricians belt all day for 3 years, the past three have been a little hip kit what a relief that change was!

I would recommend getting a 2 clip IWB if that's how you intend to carry, it helps distribute the weight a little better, as does the thick belt. If you are open to it, try AIWB to get the weight positioned up front to see if that helps. I have a g26 on order for this intended purpose. If you haven't already, try talking to your orthopedic.

I hope all works out well for you.
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Old May 20, 2017, 07:46 AM   #24
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I see another law coming in to ban CCW because of health risks.
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Old May 20, 2017, 09:06 PM   #25
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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.
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