• Welcome to the DeeperBlue.com Forums, the largest online community dedicated to Freediving, Scuba Diving and Spearfishing. To gain full access to the DeeperBlue.com Forums you must register for a free account. As a registered member you will be able to:

    • Join over 44,280+ fellow diving enthusiasts from around the world on this forum
    • Participate in and browse from over 516,210+ posts.
    • Communicate privately with other divers from around the world.
    • Post your own photos or view from 7,441+ user submitted images.
    • All this and much more...

    You can gain access to all this absolutely free when you register for an account, so sign up today!

Weight belt or Weight Vest for bad lower back pain

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
It can take a long time to get an up-to-date response or contact with relevant users.

Undersized

Member
Joined
Jul 29, 2017
Messages
6
Reaction score
1
Points
13
Age
39
Hi Fish friends

This is my first post and yes I did use the search function but I couldn't find anything to really answer my situ.

So after years of being a semi pro athlete my body is a wreck and I have bulged discs in the L4-L5 and L5-S1 and recently switched from plastic to carbon fins (I have money now) I have noticed I have been getting a very sore lower back and have rotated my hips 4 times, once from snorkelling rest from rowing (a lot of pain and about a week of hobbling even with physio)

HOWEVER

I have also gone from swimming 10min from shore to 30-45min swim out and back on shore dives (South Florida) so didn't know if this was fin related as I didn't have the issue before or is it the weight belt putting extra pressure on my lower back in a horizontal position for longer (about 10lbs)

So was thinking looking towards a weight vest so the weight isn't pulling down in or around my lower back area

Thoughts on this appreciated (im not a doctor but my physio said it could be that or potentially the hip kicking with the blades but I feel carbon blades being so flex that would actually be better for a bad back)

Help appreciated as I am currently on my 4 day bed ridden with back pain/ sciatica

Cheers

D
 

Mr. X

Forum Mentor
Staff member
Forum Mentor
Joined
Jul 14, 2005
Messages
8,190
Reaction score
1,668
Points
418
Are you spearfishing? If so, yes a weight vest - in addition to a more lightly loaded, quick-release weight belt - can help with lower back pain in my experience (and neck pain). I often carry 24lb+ of lead, when all is carried on the belt, it tends to nail your hips to the sea bed while you upper body, and sometimes legs, want to float up. Carrying some lead in a weight vest can help by making your upper body less buoyant and your hips less "nailed to the floor" when spearing on the seabed (Agauchon/Aspetto?).

As for just freediving or competitive freediving, I don't see an obvious benefit but perhaps others do?
 

Undersized

Member
Joined
Jul 29, 2017
Messages
6
Reaction score
1
Points
13
Age
39
Are you spearfishing? If so, yes a weight vest - in addition to a more lightly loaded, quick-release weight belt - can help with lower back pain in my experience (and neck pain). I often carry 24lb+ of lead, when all is carried on the belt, it tends to nail your hips to the sea bed while you upper body, and sometimes legs, want to float up. Carrying some lead in a weight vest can help by making your upper body less buoyant and your hips less "nailed to the floor" when spearing on the seabed (Agauchon/Aspetto?).

As for just freediving or competitive freediving, I don't see an obvious benefit but perhaps others do?


Thanks for replying so fast.

I spearfish as my main goal (with the long shore swims also a lot of snorkelling as well)

any recommendations on specific weight vests? im also going to check my fins and make sure they are not too stiff and that could also cause hip problems on long swims im guessing

Thanks again
 

J Campbell

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 17, 2001
Messages
605
Reaction score
186
Points
148
Age
66
Just curious, how far out does a 45 min swim get you?
 

Mr. X

Forum Mentor
Staff member
Forum Mentor
Joined
Jul 14, 2005
Messages
8,190
Reaction score
1,668
Points
418
My weight vest is a Mares. Seems a pretty good, simple, inexpensive design. But there are lots of options.

I do sometimes think it is 1 piece of gear too much. Hard to explain, as it is quite useful and beneficial.

The weights I use inside it it are packs of lead shot but you could use lead plates/ingots instead, if you can find the right size. The packs make it a bit lumpy looking, camo like a rock perhaps. ;)
 

Undersized

Member
Joined
Jul 29, 2017
Messages
6
Reaction score
1
Points
13
Age
39
Correction on the weight - 5lbs not 10. I miscalculated
 

DiveHacker

Active Member
Joined
Jun 17, 2020
Messages
121
Reaction score
70
Points
43
Age
48
I wonder if for your longer swims putting the weight on a buoy may help as you swim out? Do you swim out on your back?

I liked the Epsealon vest they have on scubastore but have not had my hands on it. You would have to grab the flat vest weights too of course.
 

marco15499

Laguneros Spearfishing
Joined
Apr 4, 2011
Messages
303
Reaction score
114
Points
83
Are you using a rubber/elastic weight belt? If so, try to place it as low in your back as possible and pull it tight. I wear it in my hips. It helps a lot when you have back problems.

If you don't have a rubber weight belt, buy one right now!
 

Mr. X

Forum Mentor
Staff member
Forum Mentor
Joined
Jul 14, 2005
Messages
8,190
Reaction score
1,668
Points
418
Marco, do you use a crotch-strap on the belt to stop it moving up your body when diving down or do rely on the elasticity of your belt?

Undersized, you are carry only 5lb of lead? That's not much weight. Do you wear a wetsuit? Should you be diving, is it safe?
 

marco15499

Laguneros Spearfishing
Joined
Apr 4, 2011
Messages
303
Reaction score
114
Points
83
Yes I do. But it is home made. Is a piece of bungee I tied in the back of my belt that I fix in the front pin of the Marsellaise belt.
 
Joined
Mar 22, 2009
Messages
667
Reaction score
200
Points
148
We offer a weight vest with a quick release mechanism. If you are interested:

https://www.makospearguns.com/Quick-Release-Weight-Vest-p/mqrwv.htm

However, if you are only wearing 5 lbs of weight, I am not confident that the vest is going to make a noticable difference. It is more popular for cold water divers who wear thick suits and need a lot of lead.

I think you may benefit by moving the belt around, shifting it from wearing it very low across the butt to higher up, from time to time. Wearing the belt in the small of your back can tweek existing low back problems.

Another thing you mentioned was fins. It sounds like you have already gone to carbon. I would suggest a soft carbon fin, especially if you are swimming long distances, not diving too deep and are wearing minimal lead and wetsuit. A soft and efficient fin may help with low back strain.

Another suggestion, is to spend some time swimming on your back. This takes a lot of pressure off the low back and might bring you some relief.

Hope you are feeling well soon

dano
 

Mr. X

Forum Mentor
Staff member
Forum Mentor
Joined
Jul 14, 2005
Messages
8,190
Reaction score
1,668
Points
418
Hi Dano, are referring to those plastic backpack-style clips as the QR mechanism? I have seen other weight vests make a similar claim for them but personally I do not consider that to be a safe mechanism for emergency ditching. They are small, they can and do jam solidly and it requires accurate finger placement and fine motor skills to open them.

My own weight vest uses a similar clip. To mitigate that I carry some of my weight on my weight belt, which can be released easily in extremis. I'm surprised nobody has come out with a real QR weight vest, maybe with something like a rip-cord handle or grenade pin perhaps using an R-clip. Or, more cheaply, perhaps a simple plastic single hook and loop closure of some kind (or velcro but not a big fan of it).

Also, the vests often include some sort of non-fixed attachment for the weight belt (e.g. a hook, a ball on elastic, loop closed with velcro), so they stay in place while diving down. So use with a QR weight belt is normal/expected and perhaps necessary/recommended.
 
Last edited:

Brochman

Active Member
Joined
Jul 16, 2016
Messages
154
Reaction score
69
Points
43
Very much agree with you on that one Mr X , I have considered a weight vest myself but don't like the release system as i have seen those clips fail on a rucksack (Backpack) because the springs seize or give up and that is on dry land. A quick release system like on a diving weight belt could be incorporated which does not have springs so no chance to fail. A project now coming to mind lol.
 

Orca1140

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 29, 2008
Messages
1
Reaction score
0
Points
86
Hi Fish friends

This is my first post and yes I did use the search function but I couldn't find anything to really answer my situ.

So after years of being a semi pro athlete my body is a wreck and I have bulged discs in the L4-L5 and L5-S1 and recently switched from plastic to carbon fins (I have money now) I have noticed I have been getting a very sore lower back and have rotated my hips 4 times, once from snorkelling rest from rowing (a lot of pain and about a week of hobbling even with physio)

HOWEVER

I have also gone from swimming 10min from shore to 30-45min swim out and back on shore dives (South Florida) so didn't know if this was fin related as I didn't have the issue before or is it the weight belt putting extra pressure on my lower back in a horizontal position for longer (about 10lbs)

So was thinking looking towards a weight vest so the weight isn't pulling down in or around my lower back area

Thoughts on this appreciated (im not a doctor but my physio said it could be that or potentially the hip kicking with the blades but I feel carbon blades being so flex that would actually be better for a bad back)

Help appreciated as I am currently on my 4 day bed ridden with back pain/ sciatica

Cheers

D

I have the same issue with my back. I use a vest (Sporasub) and medium stiffness Carbon fiber fins. I do not make the long swims that you do. I would also recommend dropping some weight off the belt if possible, maybe go to a thinner wetsuit. If possible, and perhaps carry your weight belt separately, on a float during the swim out and back.
 
Joined
Mar 22, 2009
Messages
667
Reaction score
200
Points
148
Very much agree with you on that one Mr X , I have considered a weight vest myself but don't like the release system as i have seen those clips fail on a rucksack (Backpack) because the springs seize or give up and that is on dry land. A quick release system like on a diving weight belt could be incorporated which does not have springs so no chance to fail. A project now coming to mind lol.


Thanks for the questions/feedback on the MAKO quick release vest. There are no springs in the clip/buckle. It requires one hand to operate, it is located in the center of the chest - so it should be easy to find by touch.

Also, this may not be clear from the photo, but when that buckle is released, the two ends slide through the large metal rings on the shoulders and the vest falls away.


quick-release-weight-vest-one-button-ditch.jpg
quick-release-weight-vest.jpg
 

Mr. X

Forum Mentor
Staff member
Forum Mentor
Joined
Jul 14, 2005
Messages
8,190
Reaction score
1,668
Points
418
The rings do make it a better fast ditching mechanism than most weight vests provide, including my Mares vest. But those plastic backpack clips, if not inserted correctly/straight, can lock very solidly.
 

J Campbell

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 17, 2001
Messages
605
Reaction score
186
Points
148
Age
66
Replace plastic snap with velcro or conventional mini quick release belt buckle?
 
DeeperBlue.com - The Worlds Largest Community Dedicated To Freediving, Scuba Diving and Spearfishing

ABOUT US

ISSN 1469-865X | Copyright © 1996 - 2021 deeperblue.net limited.

DeeperBlue.com is the World's Largest Community dedicated to Freediving, Scuba Diving, Spearfishing and Diving Travel.

We've been dedicated to bringing you the freshest news, features and discussions from around the underwater world since 1996.

ADVERT