We hear about wearing the proper gear all the time – gloves, helmets, boots, and even pads and body protectors. Motorcycle kidney belts may not be as mainstream, but can help protect a vital area of the body and reduce aches and pain.
Despite their small size, your kidneys do a lot of work to keep you healthy. The kidneys, located below your rib cage on both sides of your back, are responsible for filtering your blood. Each day your kidneys filter 200 quarts of blood and eliminate two quarts of waste products.
Without kidneys, the waste products would build up in your blood and poison your body. Proper kidney function is vital to sustain life.
Unlike most of the other organs in your body, your kidneys are not well-protected. Instead if being surrounded by bones and muscles, your kidneys are essentially wrapped in fatty tissue. This tissue does little to protect your kidneys from impact, and kidney damage can occur easily. Just ask motocross riders.
Kidney belts wrap around the lower torso to protect the kidneys and other internal organs that are exposed and prone to injury. In addition, they also provide lumbar support that helps you maintain proper posture when you ride. Most who wear kidney belts agree that they provide a sense of support that actually feelings comfortable as you ride.
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Without wearing a motorcycle kidney belt, the repeated force and impact on their body as they hit each bump and jolt can cause pain and bruising in the kidneys and even blood in the urine. The same can occur from riding your motorcycle, especially on rough terrain. (Please note- if you experience kidney pain, blood in your urine, or any other troubling symptom, you should see your doctor.)
Kidney belts also serve another important function. They help protect the spine. The lumbosacral spine is the lowest part of the spine. Many people will experience lower back pain at some point in their lives, with the pain often originating from the lumbosacral spine.
Nerve compression injuries to this area of the spine can result in aches, soreness, sharp or shooting pains, spasms, numbness, a burning sensation, or pain that radiates to the hips or buttocks. Kidney belts help protect this vulnerable area of the spine by improving posture and body position. The belts also help protect the spine from nerve compression.
Usually made from a breathable, stretchable material, kidney belts are thicker towards the back and thinner at the front. The closures vary depending on the belt, but should be located towards the front or side.
The kidney belt should be snug but should not impact breathing or comfort. When selecting the proper size kidney belt, you should measure just below the waist. Refer to manufacturer’s instructions for the perfect fit.
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Motorcycle kidney belts range in price from around $25 on the low end to $80 or more on the high end. You can also purchase one as part of a body armor set, which will offer even greater protection. Many people find that, as they age, the find a kidney belt more helpful. The muscles can weaken and become a bit more lax with age, necessitating the use of a belt for more support, especially on long rides.
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If you experience pain in the kidney area after riding, it could be due to kidney irritation. Kidney irritation and injury can occur from frequent, heavy impact (like riding your motorcycle over rough terrain or on gravel roads). Pain can be caused by general muscular pulls from poor posture or weak back muscles.
Dehydration can also impact your level of pain, so be sure to drink plenty when you ride. If you regularly experience kidney or lower back pain after you ride, it’s a great idea to invest in a kidney belt. If, after wearing the kidney belt, the pain still recurs, consider visiting your physician. Pain can be an indication of a kidney infection or problems with the lower back.
When riding a motorcycle, protecting your body is important. There is no one who, after being involved in a crash, said they regretted wearing gear. But there are many people who, after suffering serious injuries, wish they had chosen to wear gear for protection. Although no amount of gear offers complete protection from injury, it has been proven to significantly lower rates of injuries.
If you are a medical patient or have specific questions about a kidney belt, customer service at any reputable bike shop should be able to help answer your questions.
If you have been injured in a motorcycle crash, you need an expert on your side. Going it alone as you battle the insurance adjuster is just like riding without gear – it’s a bad idea! Contact Kass & Moses for help handling your case. Our experienced team specialize in motorcycle crash cases and know how to help you recover the money you deserve.