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The Ultimate Back Pain Relief Tips Blog

Causes of Back Pain for Police Officers

Posted by Dr. Jeff Winternheimer D.C. on Mon, Oct 28, 2013 @ 04:52 PM

Back Pain and CopsStudies have shown that 62 percent of police officers suffer from low back pain, with only 8 percent having had back pain before joining the force.  At Illinois Back Institute we specialized clinical organization dedicated to managing back pain through revolutionary non-invasive, non-surgical and natural treatment methods.

It is very important for not only police officers but for everyone to take 10 minutes every morning to stretch your back. There is no blood flow in your back as you sleep so everything tightens up. Start your morning with the following:

  • Start by lying on your bed with straight legs and raising your arms above your head. Stretch with your legs and arms, pointing your toes and reaching with your fingers. Do this with the palms of your hands together then do it again with the back of your hands together.
  • Wake up your back by lying on your back with your knees slightly bent. Tighten your abs and press your lower back into the bed with your hips tilted upwards. Slowly reverse pressing your hips back into the bed. Don’t move to fast and repeat this movement four to five times.
  • Knees to chest. Lie on your back with your legs straight then bring in one knee to your chest pressing your back into the floor. Hold this for 5 seconds and repeat with the other leg.
  • In bed, bend your knees with your feet placed on the bed and arms out like a T. Drop your knees slowly to one side and hold for 15 seconds, then bring back up slowly and drop your knees to the other side and hold for 15 seconds.

Police officers spend long hours patrolling neighborhoods or streets by foot, horseback, motorcycle or car. This can cause a lot of stress on a person spine. There are a few different stretches police officers can do to reduce back pain in this situation.

  • Sitting for long periods of time? Make sure to take micro breaks every hour!
      1. While sitting, scoot to the edge of your seat
      2. Spread your knees apart and place your feet pointed out
      3. Place your palms out on each side
      4. Keep shoulders back
      5. Then rotate your palms while rolling your shoulders back.
  • Standing and walking for long periods of time? Make sure to do the following:
    • Wear supportive shoes! Look for shoes with high amounts of cushion and arch support, so they can be used for running, walking and standing.
    • Use a footstool or any four-inch to six-inch block or box to elevate one foot at a time. When your foot is elevated, the muscles of the front of your thigh and pelvis relax. These muscles affect the bones and discs of the lower back, when they are allowed to relax, they stop pulling down and compressing your spine. Alternate feet every few minutes so that both sides of your back can rest.
    • Proper posture! Tuck your tailbone under your pelvis & keep your lower abdominals engaged.
    • Standing stretches! Reach your arms over your head while engaging your abdominals, stretch your torso from side to side this will alleviate pressure in your lower back. 

An officer's duty belt can weigh more than 10 pounds with equipment wrapping around the waist while the officer patrols or runs. The weight and location can cause a large amount of stress on ones neck and back. It is important for the weight to be distributed out equally. Purchase suspenders that are virtually invisible under a uniform and this will help support the weight sitting around the police officer’s waist.

Police officers often work late night hours meaning lots of fast foods causing chronic inflammation and lower levels of vitamin D3. Your diet is a large factor to your back pain. Avoid fast foods, processed foods, drinks or snacks and avoid adding sugar to food/drinks. Focus on anti-inflammatory foods like antioxidant-rich foods, lean protean, whole grains, fruits, greens, nuts, omega-3 rich fish, etc.

Getting Help

Is your back pain controlling your life? The Illinois Back Institute is a specialized clinical organization that is dedicated to managing back pain through innovative, non-surgical and natural treatment methods. Dr. Jeff Winternheimer D.C. directs and manages five clinic locations in the greater Chicago area. The organization is a member of the American Pain Society and the International Society of Clinical Rehabilitation Specialists. For more information visit: 

Dr. Jeff Winternheimer D.C., who suffered chronic back pain for years, so he sought to develop a non-surgical, natural treatment to live pain free, founded the Illinois Back Institute. He created a revolutionary technique called Functional Disc Rehydration™, which ultimately does the impossible by rehydrating discs, reversing the effects of herniated and degenerated discs. In a formal research study, Progressive Disc Rejuvenation has been proven to improve 100% of patients.  The treatment works with all ages and on all back conditions including regenerative disc, arthritis, herniated disc, sciatica, neuropathy, neck pain, bulging disc, arm pain, hip or knee pain and muscle weakness.  Dr. Winternheimer directs and manages five clinic locations in the greater Chicago area including Arlington Heights, Berwyn, Countryside, Orland Park and Wheaton. The organization is a member of the American Pain Society and the International Society of Clinical Rehabilitation Specialists. For additional information about back pain relief and the Illinois Back Institute, please visit the new website at:

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