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Protect your spine, protect your career from heavy equipment injury


by Alex Klein April 23, 2016

Protect your spine from compression injury, without restricting movement. Wear the frame connected to the belt when standing watch or on long movements; disconnect the frame for dynamic movement or laying prone.

Background:

Our Soldiers are being injured at an alarming rate, and the injuries are not caused by the enemy. They are caused by excessive equipment load, causing spinal injuries and connective tissue injuries. Our men and women, who have sacrificed for our country, are coming home to live in constant pain and discomfort. We seek to reverse this trend and protect those who fight for our safety.

"The Department of Veterans Affairs has stated that veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan retiring with musculoskeletal conditions (for example, pain, injuries and arthritis) grew tenfold between 2003 and 2009.(1)  The increased prevalence of arthritis and joint damage among troops is likely due to the physical demands of military service; carrying heavy loads in combat zones and sustaining injuries can lead to ongoing pain and damage. 

A study done by the Army Science Board in  2001 recommended that "no soldier carry more than 50 pounds for any length of time."(1)However, research has shown that soldiers heading out on foot patrols carried an average load ranging from 87 to 127 pounds. Even without their rucksacks, most of their fighting loads still exceeded 60 pounds.(2)
 
The AttackPAK solves several of these problems.  First, the hip belt should be able to transfer up to 30% of the weight load to the hip girdle.(3)  This should alleviate load on the upper back as well as freeing up the arms.  Second, the modular nature of the unit will make it easier to fit to the individual's size, reducing strain caused by improper fit.  The integration of the body armor and the backpack into the hip belt should free up the arms and reduce strain caused by the body armor vest hanging solely from the shoulders.
 
The individual soldier and the military should benefit from reduced medical cost, lost productivity and ongoing medical problems by utilizing the AttackPAK system."

Jennifer Hronkin MD
 
References:
1.  http://www.npr.org/2011/04/10/134421473/weight-of-war-soldiers-heavy-gear-packs-on-pain
2. http://www.military.com/news/article/gear-that-protects-troops-also-injures-them.html
3. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15076788
Additional info: http://www.military.com/news/article/rigors-of-war-leave-young-troops-battling-arthritis.html




Alex Klein
Alex Klein

Author




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