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Old 08-13-2017, 11:51 PM
SquarePizza SquarePizza is offline
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Default Starting to get sciatic pain with heavy guns

Not sure if I am just getting older, or what, but I have started getting getting sciatic pain when I carry a heavy gun at my preferred location of 4 O'clock. Especially with a revolver that puts most of that weight on the leading edge of the cylinder.

Currently I have switched an autoloader like my glock or sig P6, because they are lighter and the flatter profile spreads the weight out, and for the most part this has taken care of the problem. Other than I am still a wheel gun guy at heart, and I would like to carry my 686 again pain free. I currently use a lobo holster, but I have been wondering if a flatter holster like an alien gear would help any...

Has anyone else dealt with nerve pain after carrying? How did you deal with it?

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Old 08-14-2017, 12:24 AM
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I had a similar issue years ago.

I stopped using any iwb holster other than one by Matt DelFatti. Problem solved.
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Old 08-14-2017, 12:55 AM
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I wonder would a chiropractor be able to help you? I have found a good chiropractor can work wonders.
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Old 08-14-2017, 01:09 AM
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Default Several things you can do.....

There are physical therapy exercises to help with sciatica. My wife have used them for lower back problems and they really help.

A GOOD chiropractor. If they tell you they can help with all kind of problems like allegies acne and that you have scoliosis they are most likely quacks.

Wallet - If my wallet gets too fat I run into problems right away.

Shoes or anything that changes your carriage like different shoes. I can't switch between pairs that change my carriage much.
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Old 08-14-2017, 01:21 AM
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A holster like the Milt Sparks Versa Max II does a great job of distributing the weight of a revolver. Maybe a different belt would help too?

I know you like your 686 but there are other carry revolvers with a similar feel that might be easier, maybe a 66, or a NightGuard 386 if you can find one.

Not a fan of chiropractors (or anyone using the title "Dr." without having attended medical school) but that's a whole nother topic...
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Old 08-14-2017, 02:15 AM
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A 686 is kind of large for concealed carry, anyway. IMHO. Anytime I carry one, snubbie or larger, it's for field use in a holster designed for shoulder carry or external hip/strong side carry. Anyway, I have had monster sciatica issues for decades and gun carrying IWB or OWB has never caused me a problem whether wheelgun or flat sided so you might want to rethink either your gun, your holster, or your carry position.

I use osteopaths and chiropractors for back adjustments, I get acupuncture, too, and I recommend them as long as you don't try to cure acne or the measles, as mentioned above.
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Old 08-14-2017, 05:02 AM
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How about a good pair of suspenders, e.g., Perry Products, to add further support to your gunbelt? (I am assuming you already have a good, stiff gunbelt. If not, suggest you start with that. Makes a world of difference)
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Old 08-14-2017, 06:49 AM
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Same issue here. I don't carry a heavy gun ( 642), but the slight pressure on my right side ( strong side), even with an OWB holster, caused pain. So a few years ago I switched to cross-draw and I've never looked back. No more discomfort ; cross draw for me is the way to go
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Old 08-14-2017, 07:39 AM
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The New York Chiropractic College turns out some excellent practitioners. They have four college clinics, that might offer you some relief. NYCC Health & Wellness Centers
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Old 08-14-2017, 07:57 AM
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As a leftie I started having problems w/my service pistol, Glock 23, in the '80s when in uniform. Fortunately I was a middle manager and could put the gun in my desk for long periods of time. Things only got worse to the point that pocket carry w/a very light weapon (340PD or LCP) is my only option. A heavier gun in my pocket puts pressure on my belt/waist band.I do have a Fobus ankle holster for the LCP but only use that for long car trips w/the 340PD in a pocket. Doctors have been no help.
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Old 08-14-2017, 08:45 AM
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My father in law could get no relief until he had acupuncture.
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Old 08-14-2017, 09:40 AM
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Default LONG TERM ISSUES

People (especially cops) carrying heavy gear can throw off your posture/alignment/gait very easily & it get's worse over time. Things like good shoes are so important. Plenty of things MAY help: change the wt/position of the gun/wallet, whatever is throwing you out of alignment, a Chiro/PT (physical therapy), changing the way you walk (smaller strides) is hard but can help greatly. Knowing what is causing the problem is the first big step. Good luck.
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Old 08-14-2017, 10:48 AM
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I'm with you, SP. Was forced to quit carrying my 1911 or Model 19 because it hurt too much. Getting old isn't for the timid.
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Old 08-14-2017, 01:07 PM
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I suffered 30 years of lower back and back of leg pain.Chyoipractic helped short term.Then I found a good foot dr (they are hard to find)an he said most of my problem was my shoes.I would buy $18 shoes at wally world,wear them a month, and the throw them away for another pair.He said to thro them ALL away and get some Red Wing or Dunham shoes.So I did and most of my lower back pain is gone.Last winter I got a GOOD gun belt from Hanks.That helped even more.Right now my edc is a shield 9 in a CYA iwb holster.I dont leave the house without it,and usually when I get inside in evening, I forget its even there.
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Old 08-14-2017, 11:30 PM
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You might try a GOOD shoulder holster. I use the Ole " Jackass " model now made by Galco. Using an IWB just sets my back on fire with even a lighter weapon. With the shoulder rig aforementioned I have no issues with even larger weapons,.... Glock 32, 1911's, N-Frames, etc. Just a thought.
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Old 08-14-2017, 11:56 PM
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I have had back problems for 30 years (I'm 70) dating back to a train wreck I had the bad fortune to be involved in three decades ago.

I have to agree with those that mentioned good shoes or boots as essential to fighting back pain in all cases, but a good belt and holster are also essential for weapons carry.

I often carry two guns (NY reload) but have found that AISW carry is most comfortable for me. The back-up gun is usually a lightweight semi-auto (most comfortable, a 3914DAO).

Often posted, (sorry), but here in my most back friendly carry:



The weight of the weapons are center forward in the above carry mode and that takes most of the strain off my back. It's not for two handed gunslinging (unless absolutely needed).

Lately I've been carrying my 3" K frame in AIWB position and although that gun weighs about the same as the two pictured above together, I can carry them all day without back pain. But I rarely, if ever, spend all day on my feet while carrying.

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Old 08-15-2017, 12:02 AM
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Let me interject something that you won't like. Make sure it isn't kidney stones. I had lower back and sciatic pain - diagnosed as such by an orthopedist. That was three months prior to my kidney stone attack. Five ureterscopies and three trips though lithotripsey - no more back pain.
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Old 08-15-2017, 04:13 AM
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Meralgia paraesthetica a.k.a. "policeman's hip". Long known to holster makers especially police uniform suppliers. Caused by pressure on the lateral femoral cutaneous nerve. You're not imagining things tho I might be imagining that I remember hoe to spell all those anatomical terms.
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Old 08-15-2017, 08:25 AM
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I ended up moving my wallet to weak-hand side rear pocket to reduce some of my pain. Ever think of dividing the weight between two locations ie. 2 Jframes one on your left ankle and one IWB 4 o'clock? Save the 686 for open carry at home, camping, and range use.
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Old 08-15-2017, 11:31 PM
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I've recently started carrying a 2 inch 12-2 Airweight to replace my 3 inch 13-3 off-duty. I get kinda pained after carrying a 4 inch 686-6 on a loaded duty belt all day. (Yeah, I'm the dinosaur.)

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Old 08-16-2017, 08:29 AM
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One thing that ~will~ help is a ratchet style belt with 1/4" adjustments. Made a big difference with my back and nerve pain issues. I use Kore Essentials Trakline gun belts.
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Old 08-17-2017, 12:41 AM
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It definitely is related to a heavy gun, as I haven't been able to carry much this summer due to medic school. Decided that I was going to carry my 686 today and didn't make it 15 minutes without feeling the ache start.

The wheelgun got tossed back in the house and the P6 came along, with 4 hours of pain free carrying. It makes me sad because I would take a revolver over a semi any day.

Maybe I will look like a 3" K frame, so buy a shoulder rig.
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Old 08-17-2017, 07:40 AM
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SquarePizza: Try some of the ultra light Jframes. My EDC is the no lock 340PD and/or the Ruger LCP. The 340 is pricey but given my problem & the fact that it's a keeper, worth it.
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Old 08-17-2017, 03:19 PM
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Weight has almost nothing to do with Sciatic nerve pain. I wore a Sam Browns belt for years riding in a patrol car with a Handcuff case riding at 8 o'clock while sitting on a fat wallet in my LR pocket and a second handcuff case sitting right behind my holster at 4 o'clock.

These days I can't carry anything thicker than a couple credit cards in either back pocket without pain, unless I don't plan on sitting down. I can only carry a holster behind the hip for a few hours at a time.
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Old 08-17-2017, 03:29 PM
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Similar to a semi truck driver and those thick wallets they have in one back pocket making their spine out of whack. Personally, I have no trust of chiroqwackers. Simply cracking a joint now and again does not address the root cause or solve it.
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Old 08-17-2017, 03:50 PM
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Exercise your abs and your back muscles. Do core exercises.
Weak muscles can't support your frame work (skeleton) As you get older and more weaker you need to exercise.
Chiropractors are ok, but a Doctor of Osteopathic Manipulation can do so much more with adjusting your frame and recommending exercises to keep those muscles strong.
I know this how? Because I already been down that road your on. Good luck.
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Old 08-17-2017, 04:36 PM
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I have ceased carrying IWB, no matter what size gun or holster, due to the sciatic nerve problems that result from doing so. I also signed up for 7 weeks of sciatic nerve pain the last time I carried my all steel 1911 OWB.
I am able to carry lighter guns OWB with the right holster. For example, I am good with my Glock 26 in a leather Galco Fletch holster. But usually, I carry a lightweight J frame in my front pocket with no issues at all. I also sometimes use a fanny pack.
Thirty years ago, things were different. But this is not thirty years ago.

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Old 08-17-2017, 04:54 PM
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Yes, absolutely, this. The problem is your weak and/or injured BACK. Your carry equipment is secondry.

For me, hamstring curls provide instant and lasting relief. Once a week or so or whenever I start to tighten up. It's probably different for you.

Good luck with it. It can be quite debilitating.

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Originally Posted by moosedog View Post
Exercise your abs and your back muscles. Do core exercises.
Weak muscles can't support your frame work (skeleton) As you get older and more weaker you need to exercise.
Chiropractors are ok, but a Doctor of Osteopathic Manipulation can do so much more with adjusting your frame and recommending exercises to keep those muscles strong.
I know this how? Because I already been down that road your on. Good luck.
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Old 08-17-2017, 06:14 PM
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Default That's the ticket......

What you need is a few lighter guns to rotate for carry and keep the 686 for fun stuff. A Shield and a couple of 'J' frames would do the job.
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Old 08-17-2017, 08:40 PM
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Yes , you are getting older.
I started out with a 1911 45 acp full size now that I'm over 65 years old I'm now carrying an Airweight J frame 38 special. Once you hit 40 the weight starts getting to you. Then the back pain starts to haunts you like an ex wife and there is little you can do about it.
Lighten up the hardware .
Gary
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Old 08-17-2017, 09:07 PM
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I also encountered back pain while carrying my Glock 19 with owb holster.
Didn't realize that was causing my pain. Went to the doctor who told me he didn't see anything wrong. I eventually realized it was the gun causing my pain, and switched to a Kel-Tec PF9... problem solved. About 1/2 the weight of the Glock.
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Old 09-02-2017, 03:26 PM
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Default You took the words...

Quote:
Originally Posted by badge View Post
You might try a GOOD shoulder holster. I use the Ole " Jackass " model now made by Galco. Using an IWB just sets my back on fire with even a lighter weapon. With the shoulder rig aforementioned I have no issues with even larger weapons,.... Glock 32, 1911's, N-Frames, etc. Just a thought.
You took the words right out of my mouth. People have told me that they uncomfortable and aren't anywhere as cool as you think BUT, with my body shape they work better for me. I've got a Kangaroo and a Remora, but I don't carry big guns.
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Old 09-02-2017, 03:48 PM
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I have degenerative arthritis in both hips and can not carry on my hips at all.. AIWB has solved the problem and I carry a full size pistol. Rides nicely and actually helps hold my pants up.
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Old 09-02-2017, 05:02 PM
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Re: nerve pain: drinking more water helps. Especially if you drink alcohol. Also, ibuprofen helps.




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Old 09-02-2017, 07:40 PM
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Default BTW...

BTW... S&W makes some really nice revolvers in small and medium frame models.
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Old 09-02-2017, 09:10 PM
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Real gun belt helps a lot. I believe that there are a lot of other good comments above, including good shoes, empty pockets (I wear a shoot-me vest and carry nothing in pants pockets), shoulder holster where possible, and probably exercise and competent medical help (possibly rare but definitely exists).
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Old 09-03-2017, 11:43 AM
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I solved my problem (like yours) by wearing a 1.75" garrison belt with a strong and wide pair of suspenders.
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Old 09-05-2017, 06:55 AM
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I get it too. I use a Bigfoot Gun Belt (14 ounce, 1 1/2" wide, steel core). This is the number one fix. Second is to make sure the gun is riding at the correct height WITH THE CORRECT TIGHTNESS AROUND MY WAIST. Too tight and it's over in two hours and I am back to pocket carry.
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Old 09-24-2017, 12:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nachogrande View Post
People (especially cops) carrying heavy gear can throw off your posture/alignment/gait very easily & it get's worse over time. Things like good shoes are so important. Plenty of things MAY help: change the wt/position of the gun/wallet, whatever is throwing you out of alignment, a Chiro/PT (physical therapy), changing the way you walk (smaller strides) is hard but can help greatly. Knowing what is causing the problem is the first big step. Good luck.
I've had these problems after a 30 year LE career and have learned not to carry my wallet in my back pocket, I carry now at 3:00 and for shorter periods of time. Pocket carry when I can.

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Old 09-24-2017, 01:31 PM
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I live on Advil and Ice packs. That helps.
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Old 09-30-2017, 12:43 AM
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UPDATE:

Turned out to be more related to the wallet than the gun. Because of the suggestions above, I stopped sitting on my wallet, and after a few weeks I could carry my 686 IWB without pain. Over the course of a long day I will start to feel the same ache, but prior to ditching the wallet, the pain of carrying a gun would start showing up in less than an hour.

Last edited by SquarePizza; 09-30-2017 at 12:44 AM.
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Old 09-30-2017, 10:41 PM
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Originally Posted by SquarePizza View Post
UPDATE:

Turned out to be more related to the wallet than the gun. Because of the suggestions above, I stopped sitting on my wallet, and after a few weeks I could carry my 686 IWB without pain. Over the course of a long day I will start to feel the same ache, but prior to ditching the wallet, the pain of carrying a gun would start showing up in less than an hour.
Amazing, isn't it?

After some strengthening exercises and time I was able to return my wallet to it's place. I just couldn't keep track of the damn thing ...
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Old 10-01-2017, 06:05 PM
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Originally Posted by tomrkba View Post
I get it too. I use a Bigfoot Gun Belt (14 ounce, 1 1/2" wide, steel core). This is the number one fix. Second is to make sure the gun is riding at the correct height WITH THE CORRECT TIGHTNESS AROUND MY WAIST. Too tight and it's over in two hours and I am back to pocket carry.
Not being meant as a criticism of any belt: did I forget to mention in my earlier post about 'policeman's hip' aka meralgia parasthetica, that it's the belt that is the known cause (because it causes the pressure point that transfers the weight); rather than the holster.

All the industry efforts to resolve this have centred around changing out the design of the belt vs the design of the holster.
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Old 10-01-2017, 06:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SquarePizza View Post
UPDATE:

Turned out to be more related to the wallet than the gun. Because of the suggestions above, I stopped sitting on my wallet, and after a few weeks I could carry my 686 IWB without pain. Over the course of a long day I will start to feel the same ache, but prior to ditching the wallet, the pain of carrying a gun would start showing up in less than an hour.
Why I never carry my wallet in my back pocket. Stopped doing that over 20 years ago when I took more road trips and had painful lower back pains. Read about those truckers I previously mentioned above, and found out that was it. I do not see how some folks carry IWB in all of the various positions without the gun sticking into them or causing pain.
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