Back pain after training with pack?

TheCougar

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Jun 6, 2016
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Fort Worth, TX
Has anyone experienced back issues when packing loads? I'm only doing about an hour of hiking with a 60# pack and I seem to be developing chronic soreness in my back that lasts a week or more. I've got a kifaru frame with the regular stays. The pack is fitted well and all of the weight is on my hips, so I'm not compressing my spine vertically. Maybe pressure from the lumbar pad? It doesn't bother me when rucking and there is no immediate acute pain either. I have bulged L4 and L5s as well. I don't know for sure that it is the pack. Maybe I'm just going through a bad spell with my back. It hasn't bothered me at 30# or when I am out hunting all day.
 

hammer0419

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Jun 17, 2012
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O.C NY
I personally have gone from a huge lumbar pad belt to no lumbar pad belt. For me it is a world of difference in comfort. I now carry a Seek Outside Revolution frame with INCREDIBLE comfort. Though what works for me may not for someone else. It can be a process to find what works.
 

Flashmo

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Nov 30, 2016
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Location
Midway, UT
Are you working on your core (belly muscles). A stronger stomache takes a lot of pressure off the back.
 

endorice

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May 5, 2013
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Colorado
Huge difference between 30 and 60 pounds. Ease back to 35 pounds, use that for multiple sessions, and if no pain then start bumping up a few pounds at a time.
 
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TheCougar

TheCougar

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I'm at 60lbs right now. I have a very high level of general fitness. I wouldn't think that 60lbs would be a problem, but I also wouldn't think that the lumbar pad would cause this problem.
 

ams

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Feb 26, 2012
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579
Location
Northern CA
My issue, when I have more than 40#'s in a pack with a lumbar pad it aggravates the nerves from several herniated disks in my back. Why? Couldn't tell ya, but the SO belt didn't give me any issues. I have a good amount of curve in my spine followed by a big ass. I can work around the discomfort with other packs as long as I could bend the stays. With Kifaru I found a 24 inch frame worked better than a 26 inch frame, again I couldn't tell you why but it did. Unfortunately with 80+ pounds I didn't have any lift off my shoulders. I also found that well used frames/lumbar pads worked better as the foam was worn a bit. I used one of the newer frames and had good results because you can adjust the padding but the SO frame I never had to mess with so I'm sticking with it. I still buy packs because I'm a gear junkie and like to try them out but nothing has come along yet that gives the same comfort for me as the SO frame.

This is just my experience with my back and my issues so I only speak for that and not which company is better. Both companies have been nothing but great to deal with.
 

CLICKBANGBANG

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Jun 23, 2016
Messages
293
I'm currently laying here recovering from a microdiskectomy. I herniated my L5/S1. If you have a bad disc, you need to be really careful. It's a $25,000 surgery (I'll be $6k after insurance out of pocket this year, so much for hunting). After the surgery, you can forget about squatting, over head press, or deadlifting in the gym, extremely heavy packs, or any other heavy strenuous lifting... Unless you want to explode the disc and go back to the surgeon for spinal vertebrae fusion.

For sure try to adjust the pack some. And drop back the weight a bunch until there is no pain. There are other ways to gain endurance and strength without training yourself into pain like that. My suggestion with long lasting pain like that, you need to get an MRI. Your back isn't something to mess with. My doc visit to get an MRI referral was $35. With my insurance the MRI only cost me $250... If it's about money, that's only half the cost of just your pack. Much less what's in the pack, gun, tags, spotter, etc. If it's about being to manly to go to the doc, let me tell you, chicks don't dig scars. That stupid saying is bull$hit. To really be at your best during hunting season, and at life in general, you need to find the source of the pain, and figure out how to get rid of it. Go to the doc. Be honest about the pain level with him. Ask for an MRI referral. If it shows something out of whack, get a CD copy of it and see a spine specialist. That needs to happen before you're laying around cruising the forum recovering from a back surgery... like I am.
 
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TheCougar

TheCougar

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Jun 6, 2016
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Location
Fort Worth, TX
So I dumped the weight down to 45# and only hiked 1.5 miles and it still made my back sore. Now I've got to trouble shoot. Possible culprits:
1. aggravating existing back injury that hasn't fully healed. I'm going to talk to the PT about it. I haven't had this issue before.
2. Pressure on lower back: options here are to change out the stays to ones with less curve or find a pack with less lumbar padding.
3. Poorly fit or adjusted pack. Maybe I'm cranking down on the belt too much or I've got the pack situated poorly.
 

Daniel_M

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Joined
Jan 17, 2013
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1,442
Location
Wasilla, Alaska
I had some lower back pain develop after packing a few trips with a new 26" Duplex.

After talking to Aron I ended up tracing out my stays on the wall and bending the bottom end out about .5", away from the lower back. All things being equal and your fitted as recommended, with no reoccurring injury I would consider a stay adjustment.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

ColoradoHunterHiker

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Sep 20, 2016
Messages
216
Location
Colorado
Not trying to be rude at all, but I'm amazed at how much my back hurts when my core strength is down. I'd suggest getting core strength up and then starting back at a comfortable weight and increasing that by 5# per time. If you get to a painful part, don't add weight, train like that for a week and then add weight.

Just my suggestion.

But like others have said, it's hard to pinpoint the problem without "seeing" it...
 

KurtR

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Sep 11, 2015
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898
Location
South Dakota
I was having the same problem one day then not the next. Not really knowing what i am doing when my lower back hurt it was because i had the straps going from the belt to the bag the delt straps i think they are called tight from the time before and the belt was not wrapping on my hips. I make sure they are loose each time i put the pack on now and it has seemed to fix my problem
 
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