United States soldiers have a great burden to bear – literally, according to studies. One such soldier wore all the typical gear – body armor, a vest and pack for his radio, batteries, food, water, flashlight, ammunition, and all the rest of the things he needed in the field. Together with his M4 rifle, all of his equipment weight 70 to 80 pounds and he could feel the weight keenly.
He was in pain, especially when his squad was under fire. Running or diving on the ground was especially excruciating, making his neck and shoulders burn intensely in agony. Some soldiers have suffered herniated discs.
The soldier has now been back in Washington State for two-and-a-half years, doctors have learned. He has been diagnosed with bone spurs in the vertebrae of his neck. The cause? A degenerative arthritic condition. The pain can be so intense that he has trouble getting out of bed in the morning.
“This is ridiculous,” the solder told a reporter. “I’m only 25 years old. Arthritis is supposed to happen when you get old. What’s it going to be like when I’m 50 or 60?”
Unfortunately, he’s not the only one. Every U.S. Solder in Iraq and Afghanistan are similarly loaded with gear and may end up with similar spinal injuries.
Hospitals in Nassau and Suffolk have learned of a 2001 study by Army scientists which states the standard weight carried by soldiers should be no more than 50 pounds. Anything more decreases mobility while increasing the chance for fatigue and injury. The Army chief of staff hoped to reduce the weight by 2010.
A spinal injury can be a debilitating incident, resulting in costly care and therapy. If you or a loved one has suffered a spinal injury, let a New York Spinal Injury Attorney help you fight to get the help you need to be the healthiest you can be.