Carrying concealed with back pain: need help!

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by jame, Feb 14, 2011.

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  1. jame

    jame Member

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    My wife and I took a long weekend away from home over the weekend, and I took my Ruger SP101 3" with a Simply Rugged holster and a 1 1/2" Gunners Alley Belt. I carry it positioned at about 3:00

    Since we were out and about all day every day for 3 days, the revolver was my constant companion, and my back is killing me.

    I'm no stranger to lower back pain, having ruptured a disc when I was just a teenager, and the problems persist yet today at the wise alder age I am today.

    My questions is: What else can I do? I carry a quality firearm, in quality leather. I've done so off and on for 10 years, but I've never carried on a continuous basis like this, and we would like to travel more often, but oh the pain!

    Need advice, bigtime!
     
  2. -eaux-

    -eaux- Member

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    i'm curious to see the responses to this one, too.
    i'm in my mid 30's and have a half dozen torn/ruptured disks in my middle/lower back since my early 20's.
     
  3. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    I have an extremely bad back. I carry a 15oz S&W J frame daily in my front pocket without any ill effects at all.
     
  4. killchain

    killchain Member

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    I have back problems as well, however mine is way down in the L5 vertebrae.

    I found these things can help:

    1) Strengthen your core muscles. Some crunches, situps and stuff of that nature can help.
    2) I carry a .380 in the front left pocket, and it's so light I don't even notice let alone feel pain about it.
    3) A really good stiff belt could help disburse the weight.
    4) A lighter handgun
    5) Try crossdraw so you can shift the weight when it hurts
     
  5. gbball98

    gbball98 Member

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    I too have a bad back and I carry a SP101 a lot. I find that 4:00 works better for me and doesn't seem to bother my back as much. Try different positions on the belt or even cross draw as mentioned above, you will be amazed how much difference is felt with different locations on the belt. It doesn't hurt to try.
     
  6. Paladin38-40

    Paladin38-40 Member

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    I Feel your pain

    I have a bulged and torn disc at L4-L5. Initially I switched to an S&W #37 and could carry it most days for a couple of hours.

    I had physical therapy and the exercises helped some. Later I started walking daily and worked up to 3 miles. Walking has helped more than anything. I was able to slowly work up the weight my back would tolerate. After about 6 months I could carry a S&W #37 all day and a S&W #19 for 2-3 hours. I continued to improve and now can carry a S&W #19 all day and heavier guns for several hours.

    There is hope - never give up.
     
  7. NMGonzo

    NMGonzo Member

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    just pulled a muscle and I am so glad that I have smaller guns to carry
     
  8. samurai

    samurai Member

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    I carry a LCP most of the time. But when I carry something larger, I use Perry suspenders-XL, 2" wide.
     
  9. Standing Wolf

    Standing Wolf Member in memoriam

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    I find it helps to balance the weight not only from side to side, but front to back; it also helps to redistribute the weight every couple hours, carry a light, compact gun, rest from time to time, take aspirin before the pain gets out of hand, and swear as needed. Swearing doesn't help, but can distract the mind, albeit usually only briefly.
     
  10. easyg

    easyg Member

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    Try a shoulder holster or an ankle holster.
     
  11. bayhawk2

    bayhawk2 Member

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    I have a bad back that shows up with a vengence now and again.
    I carry small,light,and lethal.I carry the Ruger LCP .380.Doesn't
    sound like much,but with todays S/D loads it's a lot of bullet for
    that light of a gun.Never jams and when you shoot it enough
    and get used to its double action?It is really acurate.This is how I
    carry.http://activeprogear.com/22-belt-slide.html .This slide
    belt holster can be ordered for any gun.I don't think I could carry
    A large pistol all day anymore,so this is my alternative.Bayhawk
     
  12. 2WheelsGood

    2WheelsGood Member

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    I've had back surgery, and I haven't had a day in the last ten years that I wasn't feeling at least some pain. Yet I can't really see how carrying a gun would affect it, unless maybe you were carrying in a shoulder holster. The weight being on your hip shouldn't affect your back much.
     
  13. Mudinyeri

    Mudinyeri Member

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    When you say "quality leather" does that include your belt? A good belt, designed specifically to carry a handgun makes a big difference.

    Beyond that, I tend to agree with those who've suggested a lighter gun.
     
  14. Sleipnir

    Sleipnir Member

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    You said you're using a Simply Rugged holster? It's probably safe to assume it's the Silver Dollar model, and with that being said have you tried wearing it in a crossdraw position?
     
  15. ferretray

    ferretray Member

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    How snug are you wearing that belt? Is there enough adjustment to get it solid but not too tight? If not, you might try a 7-hole belt or Wilderness.
    I've been useing Perry suspenders with my carry rig and its done wonders ref. relief of back discomfort. They're available at Wallyword, Target, etc.,. for a decent price.
     
  16. essayons21

    essayons21 Member

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    I have more scar tissue in my lower back than muscle, or at least thats what it feels like. 13 months wearing 60lbs of body armor all day every day.

    Echoing other posters comments, a lightweight pocket pistol is often a good option, and a good thick gunbelt also helps. I've noticed that the large leather and kydex holsters tend to also distribute the weight better. Most of the pain is caused by the gun affecting your posture and stride, try to find a holster or carry method where you can walk and sit more comfortably. Often baggier clothing gives you more confidence in your concealment, and you don't feel the need to adjust your posture to conceal your pistol. Also carrying a magazine or speedloader on the opposite side helps to balance out the weight.
     
  17. The Lone Haranguer

    The Lone Haranguer Member

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    Not having had back pain, I wonder if a shoulder holster would work. Backpackers do feel less fatigue by carrying the load higher up on their shoulders, not down low. Front pocket carry, in conjunction with a buckled belt, might be an option, but you will need large pockets for a SP101.
     
  18. 2WheelsGood

    2WheelsGood Member

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    Absolutely incorrect. Serious backpacks are designed and fitted so that at least 80% of the weight is on your hips. VERY little weight should be on your back.
     
  19. royal barnes

    royal barnes Member

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    I have carried various Colt 1911's for many years but recently starting experiencing severe back and leg pain due to sciatica. The doctor says it comes from many years of carrying police gear around my waist. Physical therapy is helping but right now I can't stand the weight of any handgun on my hip. I have started carrying a Smith M&P 340 in my right front pocket. Hopefully I will some day be able to go back to my 1911's but, if not, I am reasonably well armed with my pocket rocket.
     
  20. doc2rn

    doc2rn Member

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    I would recommend an LCP as well. I carry mine in a Fobus and dont even have a problem when wearing scrubs! Time to rethink your carry, I know you like the heavy gun to reduce recoil but if you are gonna carry 24/7 you need to find what works for you. I also have a ruptured and repaired disc at c-2 c-3 and a bulging disc at L-4 L-5 so I can relate.
     
  21. flipajig

    flipajig Member

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    I have been cut on twice I am now carring screws and rods in my back L4-L5-S1 are now one I also have another bulging disk along with scar tissue arthritis and scoliosis of the spine. So I hurt every day I carry a Ruger LCR and I dont even know that its there I carry it in a Uncle Mikes ISWB and dont even know its there.
     
  22. TIMC

    TIMC Member

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    I have found carrying different guns in different positions helps a lot. I have problems if I carry the same position all the time all day. The 4 oclock position is the most comfortable to me when carrying IWB but my LCP in my front pocket is the easiest on my back.
     
  23. W.E.G.

    W.E.G. Member

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    Loosen your belt and let it print more.

    I wear my belt somewhat loose, and I could not care less whether somebody might notice the slight bulge.
    Years of carrying that way, and nobody has ever said a thing.

    I cannot fathom how people endure those inside-the-pants holsters for more than an hour or two. I'd rather get shot and robbed than have that thing jabbing me all day.
     
  24. jame

    jame Member

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    I did try an IWB.............for about 5 minutes. I just couldn't take it.

    My belt, as mentioned, is a 1 1/2" Gunners Alley belt, my previous one lasted about 10 years.

    I will try the cross draw option on the Simply Rugged Silver Dollar, but it seems like it might be hard to conceal.

    This whole thing is a real bummer for me. I finally got a quality carry rig put together for the gun I've dreamed of for years. The Ruger SP101 in .327 mag. I've always been a fan of the .32 H&R, and i've hot rodded the daylights out of my reloads, waiting for, someday, a viable option for carry. I finally found it, and now, after a lifetime of back pain, I'm having trouble carrying it.

    I have a Makarov I can trade or sell to get an LCP I suppose, but if I would have known, I would have done that long ago. I worked hard to buy, re-spring and tune that SP101, and now my efforts seem to be in vain.

    Nothing against the LCP, but.....

    Damn........this makes me unhappy.
     
  25. Ridgerunner665

    Ridgerunner665 Member

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    I nearly broke my back in a motorcycle wreck when I was 13...It damaged a few discs and slipped a vertebra forward, I live with the pain to this day so I know what you mean. (no pain meds for me...yet... they've tried to give them to me, but I won't take them...it would cost me my job, as would the surgery to fix the vertebra)

    I've carried a 1911 of various sorts for the better part of 16 years but recently switched...due in large part to back pain. (I hate to admit that, but its true)...always carried in quality leather with a good belt (latest rig was Milt Sparks Versa max II and a Sparks belt also)

    The answer...for me...was to carry a lighter, smaller pistol...I have been carrying a Glock 36 for 2 weeks now and it has made a difference, a BIG difference.

    I carry 24/7/365...and thats not an exaggeration, if I'm awake and dressed...I'm armed....If I'm asleep and still dressed (it happens, I'm a truck driver)...I'm armed.

    I wasn't sure the weight of the pistol had anything to do with it, but I had to try something...and as much as I miss carrying my Baer, I'm packing plastic from now on.

    EDIT: What killchain said about strengthening your core muscles is 110% true...if it were not for that, I would already be on disability (I'm holding off on that as long as I can, but the time is getting near)
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2011
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