The Spine Buddy Supportive Pad
Active service members and various other individuals within the military sector, incur some of the most significant musculoskeletal injuries out of any population. The rigorous training, the long hours spent moving, and the impact of even just one single combat sequence is extremely hard on the active service member’s body. One of the more influential characteristics of being in the military on an active service member’s musculoskeletal health is the amount of equipment that needs to be worn.
The weight that active duty service members are required to carried around, is a heavy burden placed on the muscles and bones. The main contributor is the military pack that they are required to carry around, but firearms, combat boots, and many other elements of the equipment setup are just simply strenuous.
As a way to combat the potentially hazardous effects of these heavy loads on the musculoskeletal health of active duty service members, the Spine Buddy supportive pad was created. These pads are to be inserted underneath the heavy packs that active duty service members are required to carry in an effort to increase blood flow to the extremities. The Spine Buddy supportive pad also helps to disperse the weight of these packs across the entire back and shoulders so that all of the stress is not being placed on one locus in the areas affected by the weight.
A recent study analyzed a group of active duty service members and the potential impact that a supportive pad underneath the pack might have. An A group was assigned a normal military pack without a pad and a B group was assigned a normal military pack with a Spine Buddy supportive pad underneath, and extremity blood flow measurements were taken. While the data was not statistically significant, there were some positive takeaways. After the study was concluded, a survey of the B group revealed that 70% of participants much preferred the Spine Buddy supportive pad under their pack than normal equipment proceedings. While the extremity blood flow measurements may not have conveyed the pad’s benefits, it is possible that the weight distribution element of these pads made the participants more comfortable.
We need to do everything that we can to ensure that our active duty service members and our veterans are not only able to maintain musculoskeletal health throughout their tour and their return home, but that they have access to the products and services they need to do so. Providing military outfits with the Spine Buddy supportive pad could be one way to enhance the equipment capabilities of maintaining musculoskeletal health in an extremely vulnerable population.