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hunter nelson
(hunt4car) - F
pain on 06/14/2009 22:50:51 MDT Print View

i dont know if this is the right place to put this post...
when i wear my backpack and hike after about 5 min my neck muscles start to hurt and strain, do i need to keep hiking like this and build up those muscles or am i wearing my bag wrong?

Mark McLauchlin
(markmclauchlin) - MLife

Locale: Western Australia
Re: pain on 06/14/2009 22:56:50 MDT Print View

Without seeing you wearing the pack it sounds like the weight is distributed on your shoulders as opposed to the hips.
Packs are basically either designed for light weight, so shoulder carrying isnt an issue, these generally dont have a hip belt (well not designed for carrying a load on your hips) or for the not so light they are designed to carry on the hips and padded with a nice hip belt.

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: pain on 06/15/2009 07:33:40 MDT Print View

How much weight?
What pack?

Big guy, Narrow pack?
Poorly fitting pack?
Poorly placed pack straps?
Sternum strap to tight?

Where is the pain? Under your ears? Near the spine? High or Low?

Generally your neck muscles don't support the pack, only your head. If your posture is square-backed and generally upright, and you are not leaning or leading with your chin, your neck should be the last to complain.

More clues please....

Edited by greg23 on 06/15/2009 07:57:14 MDT.

Jack H.
(Found) - F

Locale: Sacramento, CA
pain on 06/15/2009 08:00:56 MDT Print View

on a personal side, i broke my collar bone and separated my shoulder a few days ago in india. so, international trip is over and i'm looking at a summer without backpacking. tragedy

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: pain on 06/15/2009 08:17:16 MDT Print View

I don't know your details but - been there done that, Class 3 separation etc - and after removing a bit of my collarbone to alleviate the grinding and scrapping (impingement) I was back mountain biking and hiking in short order. I'm 7 years out with no restrictions or inconveniences.

If you don't have a issue with impingement you'll be going again in a week or three, otherwise surgery plus four, with good PT.

You, and 50% of the other active people in this world, will have a 1" step at the shoulder to show for your efforts. And hardly any 'glory points".

Now....back to neck pain...

Edited by greg23 on 06/15/2009 08:18:41 MDT.

Aaron Bradshaw
(bradshaw) - F

Locale: Alberta
Get Help on 06/16/2009 09:36:54 MDT Print View

Hunter - I have a degree in Kinesiology but wouldn't be able to say for certain from where the problem stems. I will say that it's almost never an issue of needing to build muscles up. It's more likely an issue of mobility and positional tolerance probably negatively affected by an ill-fitting pack.

My advice is to find a physical therapist or a chiropractor in your area (preferably one who backpacks/hikes themseleves, though not absolutely necessary). Take your fully loaded pack with you and ask for their help.

My guess is that they'd love working with a motivated, goal-oriented client like yourself. Send me a note if you'd like some more specific info on the types of questions you should be getting answers to.


Rog Tallbloke
(tallbloke) - F

Re: pain on 06/16/2009 12:34:59 MDT Print View

Jack, sorry to hear you are having to call it a day with the trip. did you get in contact with Phil or Huzefa? What's the plan?

If you don't fancy a summer without backpacking how about a trip to NZ where it's winter and get a pulk. ;-)

Edited by tallbloke on 06/16/2009 12:44:21 MDT.

John Sixbey
(Wolfeye) - F
used to have neck pain too on 06/16/2009 17:30:02 MDT Print View

Before I got into the lightweight kick, I would get neck pain like you've described. Then I dropped my pack weight to about 20 lb and bought a pack that was fitted for my body, one that distributed weight between my shoulders & hips. The pain hasn't been back since.

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Re: pain on 06/16/2009 18:33:23 MDT Print View

I used to get BAD neck/shoulder pains by the end of the day be it day or backpacking.

Then I started working out aggressively.

After 4+ months I rarely have neck/shoulder pain. And the pain I lived with daily in my lower back is nearly gone (from a bad injury a good 5 or so years ago).

Having muscle strength and toning has helped me in many ways - I can even carry a heavier pack now if needed and it feels the same as the lighter one (not to worry! Light is still the game!)

Beyond simple strength and as well excellent posture....I'd be asking does it happen with all backpacks? Or just this one? Is it loaded right? Try a different pack out. Load it differently.

Jack H.
(Found) - F

Locale: Sacramento, CA
Re: Re: pain on 06/16/2009 23:26:06 MDT Print View

Thanks for the tips guys. Doc says surgery plus 8 weeks before i can carry a pack. blah.

I didn't contact your friends in goa as i decided to fly back to the states. and here i am. yime to start planning future trips!

Rog Tallbloke
(tallbloke) - F

Re: Re: Re: pain on 06/17/2009 01:27:47 MDT Print View

Jack, Huzefa is in Mumbai, and a regular here on BPL.
Anyway, you must be shattered after the sleep loss and long haul. Rest up.

Lynn Tramper
(retropump) - F

Locale: The Antipodes of La Coruna
Re: Re: pain on 06/17/2009 13:57:03 MDT Print View

"If you don't fancy a summer without backpacking how about a trip to NZ where it's winter and get a pulk. ;-)"

Hey Roger, I didn't know there was anywhere flat enough in NZ to pulk :0

I had problems with my neck until I switched to a LuxuryLite frame. No problems at all now :)

Rog Tallbloke
(tallbloke) - F

Re: Re: Re: pain on 06/18/2009 02:40:12 MDT Print View

Lynn, I stand corrected, and can't wait to visit. We hope to be there in 2012.

Hunter, Some good advice here, but as Greg said, you need to give more information to get specifics.