Five Tips for Guns and Spine Pain

Five Tips for Guns and Spine Pain

Five Tips for Guns and Spine Pain

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Depending on where you get the statistics,  up to 45% of men and 25% of women own guns in the United States.  It is a Second Amendment right,  and I am not here to debate the merits and nuances of the Amendment.  As a spine surgeon however,  I do want to discuss a common complaint from gun owners.  That is spine pain.

From my own personal experience, I know proper form,  and proper gun fit (especially with rifles, shotguns) have significant bearing on the forces experienced by your body.

Here are 5 suggestions I have regarding Guns and Spine Pain:

1. Fitness is important.  Work on your core stabilization.  Specifically,  work on building your stomach and back muscles.  Good coordination of these muscles are necessary to minimize force effects on the spine.

2. Stretch before shooting.  Please consider the neck exercises and back exercises on our site.  A brisk walk, with stretching before hand will limber the muscles,  and prepare them for the recoil forces.

3. For beginners,  please use smaller caliber guns,  rifles, and shotguns.  The intimidation of the whole process makes for a muscle tension experience.  Add a significant recoil force  (larger caliber shots),  and you will be prone to greater injury.

4. Get lessons.  Only an instructor can show you the proper stance, and position for your gun.  First of all,  you need to understand  basic safety gun safety.  Then, an instructor can  make sure you are in the proper position to effectively,  and efficiently fire the gun.  That efficiency will mean you are in the proper form to minimize the forces of the gun.  That effectiveness will ensure reproducibility of the targeting,  so you understand the need to maintain the efficient stance and form.

Without proper instruction,  you will likely experience excessive forces,  and reduce your chances of hitting the target.

5. Get your Rifle/Shotgun fitted for your body.  While many people can use the rifle/shotgun off the shelf,  taller or shorter shooters usually need some adjustments to the gunstock.  As stated above,  the proper form and stance is very important to minimize the forces of the gun,  and therefore protect the spine.  The length of the gunstock can force a suboptimal position.  Your instructor, along with a gun smith may be necessary to define the ideal configuration of your rifle/shotgun.

A final thought is about the concept of disc herniations caused by the gun.  Unfortunately,  we probably will never know if that gun shot was the cause of the disk bulges as most of us,  after the age of 40 already have disc findings in our spine  (even though we do not even feel it).  If you have pre-existing spine pain, probably the best advice is to get an evaluation of your spine prior to shooting larger caliber rounds.   If you are a beginner, take lessons so you have proper stance and form.

Citations

  • Larsen B, Netto K, Skovli D, Vincs K, Vu S, Aisbett B. Body armor, performance, and physiology during repeated high-intensity work tasks. Mil Med. 2012 Nov;177(11):1308-15. PubMed PMID: 23198506

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Author and Contributor to www.Spine-Health.com – July, 2015

www.Spine-Health.com/author/john-h-shim-md-facs

Chief of Surgery, Mease Countryside and Mease Dunedin Hospitals, Safety Harbor and Dunedin, Florida. 2014-2016.

Orthopaedic Section Chief Mease Countryside Hospital; Safety Harbor, Florida Mease Dunedin Hospital; Dunedin, Florida.2008-2013

Board Member Morton Plant Mease Research Council

Co-Director of Mease Neuro-Ortho Spine Center Mease Dunedin Hospital; Dunedin, Florida.

One of “6 Spine Physicians Ranked #1 on Google” – December 2016

Top Ten Most Liked Spine Surgeons on the Internet – July 2016

2016 Spine Surgeons to Know list – January 2016

2014 Spine Specialists to know list – September 2014

One of Ten Leaders of Certified Spine Programs – December 2011

 

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The information provided on this website does not provide or should be considered medical advice. It is not a substitute for diagnosis or treatment of any condition. The information provided is for informational purposes only. You should not rely solely on the information provided on this website in making a decision to pursue a specific treatment or advice. You should consult directly with a professional healthcare provider.

As a condition of using the information on this website, ShimSpine and its physicians are not responsible for any advice, diagnosis, treatment or outcome you may obtain.

ShimSpine.com is completely self-funded. No outside funds are accepted or used. This website does not utilize paid advertising as a source of revenue.
Outpatient Spine Surgery Considerations. www.Spine-Health.com. January 2016.

What is Spinal Stenosis? www.Spine-Health.com. October 2015.

Surgeon insights on the Changing Landscape of Orthopedic Care. OrthopedicToday. June 2014

Chapter 33: Interspinous Spacers. Shim JH, Mazza JS, Kim DH Published in Minimally Invasive Percutaneous Spinal Techniques. Elsevier Health Sciences, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Published 2011)

Chapter 35: Minimally Invasive Percutaneous Lumbar Fusion Technique.Shim JH, Mazza JS, Kim DH Published in Minimally Invasive Percutaneous Spinal Techniques. Elsevier Health Sciences, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Published 2011)

March 2010 Minimally Invasive Transforaminal Lumbar Interbody Fusion American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons Annual Meeting New Orleans, Louisiana February 2010

February 2010 A Review of Dynamic Stabilization in the Lumbar Spine Selby Spine Symposium; Park City, Utah

November 2009 Lumbar Spinal Stenosis Community Based Lecture; Tampa, Florida

September 2009 Instructor/Proctor Minimally Invasive Lumbar Cadaver Lab; Tampa, Florida

February 2009 New Spinal Technology: Cervical Disc Replacement and Interspinous Spacers. Selby Spine Symposium; Park City, Utah

February 2008 The Degenerative Spine: The Role of Dynamic Lumbar Stablization and Interspinous Spacers Selby Spine Symposium; Park City, Utah

October 2008 Emerging Technology and Techniques in Spinal Surgery Orthopaedics in the 21st Century Symposium; Morton Plant Mease Healthcare; Largo, Florida

September 2007 Emerging Technology in Spinal Surgery Orthopaedics in the 21st Century Symposium; Morton Plant Mease Healthcare; Largo, Florida

October 2006 Emerging Technology and Techniques in Spinal Surgery Orthopaedics in the 21st Century Symposium; Morton Plant Mease Healthcare; Largo, Florida

May 2005 The Role of Kyphoplasty in the Treatment of Vertebral Compression Fractures Mease Neurosciences Symposium; Clearwater, Florida
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