Jump to content


Lower back pain

  • Please log in to reply
9 replies to this topic

#1 Ari Gertler

Ari Gertler

    Advanced Member

  • Sustaining Members
  • 113 posts
  • Santa Monica, California USA

Posted 12 June 2007 - 08:24 PM

I have searched the forum to see what discussions have taken place about back pain but still have a few questions that I hope someone may be able to help with.
It seems as though a majority of pain issues have been eliminated with the WK back mounted vest and I hope to be able to demo one for a day to see if it alleviates my issues.
I have been using a PRO GPI vest for over six years and until recently I have not had any real pain issues.
BUT now pain has been creeping in quickly from having to rotate my upper body to the left (Right hand on the handle), while having the sled on my left side (where it is a majority of the time). The twisting of my back is causing the back pain. I do not think that I have changed my operating style over years but I am now forced to experiment (back brace, new settings on my socket block and the screws, along with changes in my stance) but without much luck.

-Has anyone had similar issues?
-Do you tend to lean back a little when operating?
-Is the sled usually along side or out in front of you when leading (backwards) in a straight line?
-Besides strengthening the abdominal muscles and basic back stretches do you have any suggestions?
-Did owners of a Walter Klassen vest have any similar issues before the use of the back mounted vest?

Thank you for your time
  • 0

#2 RobVanGelder


    Advanced Member

  • Sustaining Members
  • 915 posts
  • Bangkok, Thailand

Posted 12 June 2007 - 08:59 PM

I did not have so much lower back pain, though I feel a familiar "warm feeling" down there when using my IIIa vest once in a while.
My main pain was between the shoulder blades, like they were pressed together and into a cramped position.
Another major pain was in one of my hips, the one that seems to carry most of the weight.

All that disappeared when I start using the WK BM harness. Not that this one is completely free of issues, but it has been a major improvement, specially with heavy 35mm or Panavised HD stuff. Stamina is hardly an issue anymore, the weight is much more bearable, the harness itself is much heavier (i have the universal) but is hardly noticed as it becomes "one" with your body.

I does matter with high speed running: it constrains your upper leg movements a bit more than the normal vest, and when running I feel I am faster on speed and can run a bit longer with a FM vest.
But I really do not want to run much anyway.....

The free chest movement and breathing is really a great step forward, it also helps to make longer takes.
  • 0

#3 Edgar Colon

Edgar Colon

    Advanced Member

  • Sustaining Members
  • 32 posts
  • Bayamon, Puerto Rico

Posted 13 June 2007 - 12:12 AM

"...besides strengthening the abdominal muscles and basic back stretches do you have any suggestions?''

Right now I'm entering in the hanging upside down world, in other words Inversion Therapy,
I'm suffering some lower back pains not due to steadicam operation but as a result of a bad force
I did carryng my bycicle out of my car.

Check it out

My therapist and chiropractor highly recommend it, you can find somes as cheap as $120.00 in Kmart
Not the best one but a good starter, also you can check them in the net of course.

My 2 Cents
hope it helps

  • 0

#4 Martin Stacey

Martin Stacey

    Advanced Member

  • Sustaining Members
  • 196 posts
  • Adrenochrome, New Zealand

Posted 13 June 2007 - 04:33 AM

I highly recommend the Klassen. I broke my back in 2000 (stress fracture in L4,L5 vertabrae) but with the Klassen am capable of doing a regular live show in the vest for 3.5 hours with a 30lb payload and no ill effects. I used to do the same in a front mount and was always stiff and sore afterwards. Absolutely love my back mount.


  • 0

#5 RonBaldwin


    Advanced Member

  • Sustaining Members
  • 2351 posts
  • Los Angeles

Posted 13 June 2007 - 09:34 AM

I've had a backmounted harness since 2000 (#45). I've always been careful to wear it high and watch out for the leg tingle some experience. I do have a bit of back pain/muscle stiffness. Probably because of posture, bad habits, and the fact that the back muscles are working overtime and the abs are doing next to nothing most of the time. I'm working on my core/posture right now to battle this stiffness.

Chris Fawcett has studied this and has great suggestions if you do a search and/or read his posts.

I'm not sure how I feel about chiropractors -- a good hard massage always works as good or better for me. I use an inversion table, though not as much as I should.

  • 0

#6 chris fawcett

chris fawcett

    Advanced Member

  • Sustaining Members
  • 985 posts
  • Europe

Posted 14 June 2007 - 02:34 AM

Hi Ari,

Twisting your back while lifting is what herniates disks, though of course it's impossible to diagnose your problem so readily. However, you should be able to operate while maintaining your hips and shoulders parallel most of the time. Your back, from the base of your skull to your tail bone, works as one unit, and works best when it is least compromised. Bending and twisting it stresses the system, and all that stress can center on one small relatively vulnerable component, depending on the personal habit.

I'll be at Cinegear, and we can have a look at the problem there if you like. Meanwhile, you can download a posture pdf at http://steadivision.com/steadipos.htm that is primarily aimed at workshop students, though you might find something of interest.

I wish you a speedy resolution,

  • 0

#7 Howard J Smith

Howard J Smith

    Advanced Member

  • Sustaining Members
  • 279 posts

Posted 16 June 2007 - 10:54 AM

Hi Chris (chaps)

How are you? - And Happy Birthday!!

Excellent download - I had not seen this before.

I have had low back pain for more years than I care to remember - And I have finally found out what was causing it - My neck

I had an old whiplash injury and when my neck was X-rayed you can clearly see it was not right.
Now my neck is being treated, my low back pain is almost gone.

I find this very interesting - I have spent years treating the pain and not the cause.

For those of us not lucky enough to be pain free while working, this could be something to also think about.

Re the back-mounted vest - this made a HUGE difference to me - I was about to retire after 17-years due to back pain, but thankfully I tried Walter's vest (Klassen) and that was 5 years ago. And I am still shooting with the A-R. One thing we have found is that having the vest arm half way up the back and using a drop down arm - also makes this another HUGE advancement in comfort. As I am tall I had always had it at the bottom - but just by moving it up 2" made a considerable difference.

Hope this helps?

All the best
  • 0

#8 chris fawcett

chris fawcett

    Advanced Member

  • Sustaining Members
  • 985 posts
  • Europe

Posted 17 June 2007 - 03:47 PM

Thanks Howard!

All the best,

  • 0

#9 pauljackson


    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 3 posts

Posted 25 December 2010 - 09:12 AM

i had back problems for quite a while cause of sitting job so decided to meet a chiropractor These newer correction methods are even safer, more comfortable and more effective than ever before.Treatment technique involves manual therapy, including manipulation of the spine, other joints, and soft tissues But one should consult an expert.

Chiropractor Lawrenceville GA
  • 0

#10 Neal Bryant

Neal Bryant


  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 24 posts
  • Los Angeles, CA

Posted 13 April 2013 - 06:42 PM

I found this thread while searching for anything involving an inversion table. I've been using one for years and I feel like it's something that may deserve a thread all to itself. Walking around all day with all that wieght pulling down on your spine, it feels amazing for me to invert at the end of a long day and feel "negative" pressure pulling "up" on my back. Sometimes, if I'm shooting on a stage, I will bring my table to work and stash it somewhere out of site so I can hit it during lunch.
I generally don't experience excess back pain from wearing the rig, but I do suffer from back pain in general. Ironically, the heavier the camera the less inclinded I am to feel any major discomfort while operating. I've found that a heavier setup forces me to stay in good form and prevents unnecessary stress. In any case, I highly recommend checking an inversion table out if you suffer from back discomfort; operating or otherwise.

  • 0

PLC Electronics Solutions

Varizoom Follow Focus

Camera Motion Research

PLC - Bartech


Paralinx LLC

rebotnix Technologies

GPI Pro Systems


Wireless Video Systems


Betz Tools for Stabilizers

Boland Communications

Ritter Battery

Omnishot Systems