Concealed carry with a bad back

A Taurus PT145B in a Fobus Compact Paddle hols...

A Taurus PT145B in a Fobus Compact Paddle holster, SP11B. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


I was born with two vertabrae in my lower lumber that are fused together.  I then went into the army at age 20 and quickly turned that birth defect into a full fledged back injury.  One vertebra was cracked and a couple of disks were herniated.  Unfortunately, I could never get the army docs to do anything more than give me pain meds and muscle relaxers.  These just alleviated the pain for a short time.


So, fast forward twenty some years and now I have to be very careful with my back.  I do all that I can to keep it under control.  Concealed carry presents some unique problems for a damaged back.  I’ve tried various carry methods and have found that way that works best for me.  So, I thought I would share my experience with you.  I would like to hear your tips as well.


First, pants that fit just right or snuggly are a no-go for me.  A belt is out of the question.  The pressure that is created by right sized pants or a belt is quickly unbearable for me.  The pain starts in my back and hips and then will quickly extend into my legs.  Given enough time the pain will go up into my shoulders as well.  Not fun.


So, with no belt it becomes a challenge to wear a waste that is loose enough and still carry.  Joe Q Public doesn’t like the presence of a gun.  He/she definitely doesn’t like a guy with a gun and his pants at his ankles.


One of the best carry methods for me is loose fitting waist with suspenders.  This keeps all of the pressure off of my back and transfers the weight to my shoulders instead.  If the pants are accommodating enough I can go with an IWB holster.  Something like those made by Alien Gear Holsters are my favorites for this because they spread the weight over a larger area.  This tends to reduce or prevent pain at one point.


The other method that I’ll go with is an OWB holster like the Serpa’s.  I use my Serpa with the waste band attachment rather than the belt.  Again, it tends to spread the weight of the pistol over a larger area, instead of just one spot on a belt.


I’ve tried an ankle holster and it works for a very short amount of time.  Then it becomes an issue of uneven weight on my body.  I tend to avoid this method if possible.  I’ve wanted to try a shoulder holster, but they are typically a little more costly and I don’t want to spend money on something that may not work.  I’ve already spent enough money on holsters over a few years that I could have used the money to buy a whole new gun.


What carry methods have you found to be the most comfortable for an extended period of time?  Does anyone have any experience with a belly band holster?




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