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Does wearing police body armour cause back issues?

Does wearing police body armour cause back issues?

Goss-Sampson, Mark ORCID: 0000-0002-2662-559X and Barnes-Warden, Jane (2014) Does wearing police body armour cause back issues? In: Proceedings of the Personal Armour Systems Symposium, Cambridge, 2014. International Personal Armour Committee (IPAC).

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Metvest body armour is worn by over 30,000 Metropolitan Police Officers patrolling the streets of London. Some officers have complained of lower back pain and have attributed the cause to wearing Metvest. This has raised the question as to whether or not wearing police body armour is related to low back pain issues. In order to investigate this, a study was carried out to determine the physiological effect of wearing body armour. This was assessed by measuring spinal torque / range of motion (RoM), muscle activity (EMG) during spinal flexion and extension, functional health score and subjective back pain, in both a Control Group and a non-specific Low Back Pain Group (LBP - identified by Occupational Health), to determine differences between these two groups. Additionally, the LBP group underwent an 8 week rehabilitation programme, devised and executed by Occupational Health, MPS. Functional and subjective assessments were taken group prior, mid and post rehabilitation. Data showed that wearing Metvest body armour did not have a significant effect on either spinal range of motion nor spinal muscle activity during forward flexion and backward extension in either the control or LBP subjects. Following completion of the MPS rehabilitation programme, the officers diagnosed with Low Back Pain exhibited improvements in spinal flexibility, control level spinal muscle activity, increased muscle power and physical capability and a significant decrease in subjective pain scores. It should be noted that during this rehabilitation period officers were still wearing MetVest whilst on normal duty. Finally, the technique used is simple, reproducible and may be applied to other body armour constructions.

Item Type: Conference Proceedings
Title of Proceedings: Proceedings of the Personal Armour Systems Symposium, Cambridge, 2014
Additional Information: Presented at Personal Armour System (PASS) Symposium. Robinson College, Cambrdige, UK. 8th-12th September 2014
Uncontrolled Keywords: Body Armour
Subjects: R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
Faculty / School / Research Centre / Research Group: Faculty of Engineering & Science
Faculty of Education, Health & Human Sciences > School of Human Sciences (HUM)
Faculty of Education, Health & Human Sciences > Institute for Lifecourse Development > Centre for Exercise Activity and Rehabilitation
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Last Modified: 22 Nov 2021 11:49

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